“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. “
Integrity, by definition, is the quality of being honest and fair; the state of being complete or whole.
In the condition that the world system is presently in, it would be nearly impossible for a Christian to stay afloat and survive – whether it be in school, work or even in ministry. And that’s a scary thought!
Integrity calls for one to be completely honest in all things. It’s one thing to be truthful in things we say, but do we manifest and exemplify this in our actions? The world dictates that white lies are harmless, but the Bible tells us that liars are just as deserving as a murderer to be thrown in the lake of fire. The world tells us it’s ok to alter information just to get away with things, but do we stop and think how that affects our testimony? It’s one thing to tell your parents or spouse about a mistake in the past, and it’s another to have really repented of it and truly avoid the same temptation or mistake. Integrity is telling the truth regardless of the consequences.
However, integrity is so much more than honesty and it’s so much more than just doing the right thing at the right time. Integrity also calls for one to have strong and unmoving moral principles; it is part of who you are. Integrity is that inherent desire and commitment to love God above all things, obey His commandments, and to love our neighbors and He loves us. It’s not an occasional act of kindness whenever you feel like it, nor is it a corrective measure to erase the guilt from doing something wrong.
Integrity is not something you do on the outside when the state of your heart is the direct opposite. It’s not praying only in Church,but not at home or anywhere else. It’s not advising others to do the right thing when you don’t practice what you preach. It’s not giving to charity and then refusing to pay your taxes. It’s not leading a small group but indulge in the flesh in secret. It’s not hurting someone’s feelings then not asking for forgiveness just because you know Christians will always forgive each other.
It is obeying authority even when it doesn’t make sense. It is respecting others by being on time at an agreed meeting. It is honoring others and being fair. It is being honest in school and work, even if and especially when no one is looking. It is giving your excellence in anything you do. It is doing what you would want others do to you.
Integrity, as the bible defines it, is doing and going beyond what any other person in this world system would do. It’s doing the right thing no matter how inconvenient it is, no matter what it will cost us, no matter the risks on our reputation or identity. Integrity is what the Good Samaritan did to help his neighbor. It is doing what Christ would have done.
So yes, I would say that our modern-day society is in dire need to have Integrity resuscitated. It’s time that Christians take a long and hard look at ourselves and go back to the word and think: “What in my own personal walk do I need to change in order for me to regain Integrity.” And perhaps this line may have been overused, but we need to ask ourselves again: “What Would Jesus Do?” And as we come to Him to ask for His grace and mercies to abound in us, may He who is the Author and Perfector of our faith make us complete and whole.