Integrity is a big word missing these days...
One definition of integrity is “The quality or state of being of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty and sincerity”. Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed. And it is practising honesty and uprightness in our everyday lives.
If we all practised integrity each and every day in our relationships and workplaces, what could the world look like? There would be fewer violence, fraud, crime and hate. And there would be less immorality, deception and evil in this world.
Integrity is to live out your life in private in the same way you live your life in public. And it always comes back to our character. And character is the sum total of all your habits, either good or bad.
Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks with integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
Now integrity can be subjective based on ethics, culture and opinion. But the word of God paints a clear picture of what integrity looks like and how it is practised.
Integrity is a combination of character qualities based on the word of God. It is honesty, faithfulness, trustworthy, reliable, obedience, kindness, selfless love, self controlled, responsible and generous.
Christians are called to a high standard before God and man. To walk the walk and talk the talk. It is about being a credible witness and that your faith is not only a belief but an everyday action. Practically, it is speaking the truth, acting honourably, giving honour to others, and to love one another sincerely.
The opposite of integrity is lying, stealing, cheating or choosing evil over good. It is being unethical, deceptive and immoral, either in private or public. A word that sums up all of these is hypocrisy which is to know something and to speak against something but doing it anyway.
Just because we fall once doesn’t make us a hypocrite. That’s what God’s grace and mercy are for. But when it becomes a lifestyle, that is completely different.
Daniel 6:3-4 says, Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities (excellent spirit) that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
Daniel was an elderly man at this stage of his life and scripture mentions he had an excellent spirit. This means he was set apart for God, faithful, a man of prayer and above reproach. He not only prospered but gave glory to God in a pagan land which had no choice but to see that Daniel’s God was the true and living God.
Bill Johnson once said “When you steward something faithfully increase will naturally follow”. Actively choose to practice integrity today; you might be surprised what happens.