Are you a person of integrity? As I have stated previously on this blog, I believe integrity is an all or nothing character trait. You do not have amounts of integrity; it is either something you do or do not have. To be a person of integrity is to be above reproach at all times. So how could anyone possibly live a life of integrity when we constantly mess up and fail?
I believe living a life of integrity means you are constantly building your integrity. Whether or not you have integrity is really more of a heart attitude. What, in the very depths of your soul, at your core, do you desire? Do you want to be someone who never cheats, never lies, never cuts corners, and always puts the interests of others before themselves? If you do, I believe you have integrity. However, that integrity needs to be manifested in your behavior. Every day we are building or tearing down our perceived integrity. To put this in another way, whether or not we have integrity is a heart issue; whether or not we demonstrate that integrity is a matter of choices.
In the business world, you build integrity every time you are honest with a client. You build integrity when you put the needs of your customers and your employees before the needs of yourself. Every time you refuse to cut corners, you build your integrity. In business, the most successful individuals are historically those with a perceived high degree of integrity.
Integrity is demonstrated in our relationships as well. Here again, putting the needs of your husband or wife before your own shows that you have integrity in your relationship. Modeling respect for your spouse (or boyfriend or girlfriend) also shows integrity. For example, noticing an attractive member of the opposite sex does not show a lack of integrity. However, letting your gaze linger and your mind ponder possibilities with that individual shows a complete lack of integrity. You promised an unwavering life-long commitment to your partner, and a person of integrity honors their commitments. Jesus says that if we think something sinful, it is the same as having done it. Having integrity in our thought life is one of the most important traits a Christian can have. It is also one of the most difficult.
I suppose you may be wondering why we’re having this discussion of integrity. Simply put, if we cannot be people of integrity in our dealings with everyday life, we stand no chance of living a life of integrity when it comes to serving Jesus. We committed our lives to Him, but how many of us are living out that commitment? Do you keep your eyes fixed on the Holy Son of God, or do they wander to the pleasures of this life, consumed by the lure of instant gratification?
Are we demonstrating integrity in our financial habits? Are you spending more on your entertainment than you are in caring for the poor and needy? Do we demonstrate integrity in our thought life? To quote the late Keith Green, “What’s playing in the theater of your mind?” This is the acid test for integrity: are you living a life devoted to Christ and others, or are you pursuing your own pleasure and happiness?
Tom Ziglar points out a couple of great results of integrity: we never feel guilty about our actions, and we never have anything to hide. If we are living our lives for Christ, then we never need to fear. We can be totally honest with everyone we meet for we have nothing to hide. We can sleep at night without guilt, without regret, for we know we are doing the things Christ would do. We are free, freer than we could ever hope to be otherwise. A lack of integrity brings guilt and fear and wears us down from the endless pursuit of trying to maintain a façade.
Search your heart. Are you a person of integrity? Do you want to serve Christ more than anything in this world? Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to follow Him? If not, pray and ask that God would give you integrity and the strength to demonstrate that integrity through your actions. As a person of integrity, we will love others at all times, assist them in their struggles and serve God every waking moment. Be a person of integrity. Serve Christ with all your heart. When you fall, get up quickly and continue your journey with Him. Let’s build the Kingdom without guilt and with nothing to hide. Determine that today is the day you become a person of integrity. Put the world on notice; from this day forward you will serve and follow Christ with integrity in all aspects of your life.