The Need for Integrity

Be who you are wherever you are all of the time.

Dave Ramsey brought this up in a podcast from last week where a father wanted to sign his boat over to his son so that the father could say he didn’t own it.

My friend and I discussed this tonight in relation to people who profess to be Christians yet do things which blatantly go against Christ’s teachings.

It’s easy to point the finger.  Andy Stanley, in a past message called Staying in Love – Part 3: Feelin’ It, said that we are experts in assessing other people’s actions, but we are clueless when it comes to assessing and understanding and guarding what is in our heart.

The same principle applies here.  We all face issues, but it is a heck of a lot easier to point those issues out in someone else than to admit to them yourself or someone else.

We could all do with a bit more honesty and integrity on that level as well.  That said, here are some issues I face, in no particular order.  I wonder if you face the same ones:

  • Keeping my eyes and mind focused on pure thoughts and images.  This comes up frequently in my use of technology, where I am inundated by opportunities to do the wrong thing.  I face this every time I walk into Barnes & Noble, where every possible kind of printed material is ready for the taking.
  • Choosing to address painful issues directly and promptly.  My tendency is to avoid confrontation and then worry about the problem privately.  Integrity walks up and knocks on the door of the problem, not knowing who or what will answer.
  • Speaking, talking, and acting the same way when I am by myself or with people, when I am with Christians or with non-Christians.  I am constantly tempted to change or adjust my personal values or priorities or opinions to please others.  This is particularly a challenge when I expect someone to be critical of how I live or express myself.
  • Talking about God with my friends in my personal time.  It’s easy for me to talk about what Jesus is doing in me while I am sitting in church, but I can lax from that candor when I am hanging out with friends on Friday night because it is not “cool.”
  • Accurately describing an item for sale.  I just put a suit and some shirts up on Craigslist.  I mentioned that there is a very slight stain on one of the shirts, although the suit coat covers it.  I SO wanted to ignore that issue and present the shirts as “like new.”

I am certain there are more areas, but these are the five that come to mind right now.  Integrity is a choice you make every moment of every day.

Be who you are wherever you are all of the time.

How is your integrity being challenged?

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