Integrity is not defined by proclaiming to be an honest person; it’s defined by the choices that we inevitably make. When it comes to integrity, our words have to match our actions. We can’t just say we have integrity. We must choose it.
What Is Integrity?
Integrity can be difficult to define. In the sense of the dictionary, it’s clarified as “sticking to moral ground and ethical principle.” In our daily lives, integrity is mostly defined as being an honest and trustworthy individual. If we base integrity off of these primary definitions, we end up living our lives based on a moral truth of our choosing and hoping others see us as trustworthy and right. These definitions are correct, and at the same time they're incomplete. Integrity is so much more.
True integrity is simply living and speaking based on what God says is right.
Integrity means basing our words and actions off of His principles and truth. Why is it based on God’s set of principles? He is the creator of everything right and true. When we live our lives claiming that God is the author of our journey, we have to understand that He created us to live our lives based on His standards of truth.
Our words are one of the easiest things to compromise. With words, we can sometimes exaggerate truth, gossip, tell white lies, and over-promise. Then, inevitably, the justifications start. In the moment, a compromise can appear simpler but really it's a sin against His truth. Compromise and justification cloud God’s truth. Choose truth even when it’s difficult and inconvenient.
He created us to receive our moral and ethical principles from Him. Any other place we find our values or truth is a man-made opinion, and therefore not true integrity. His truth is the only thing that will lead us to a life of integrity. So, living with integrity means saying yes to what God says is right and good, no matter the consequences.
Only God’s Spirit can create integrity within us, but everything in the world can rob us of it. Be cognizant of that and protect yourself. People and vast situations can intentionally and unintentionally compromise our integrity. Integrity is earned so fight for it by standing strong.
Stand firm for that deep-rooted integrity. It only clarifies that we must intimately know, understand, and love God’s undying truth. It’s this very truth that develops His wisdom within our lives. The truth that helps us discern and put into practice His standards that form a strong heart of integrity.
This also means to surround ourselves with like-minded humans who are continuously watching out for us in our best interest under Him. We are much more likely to compromise our integrity when we are surrounded by those who care less of who we are or what we are doing. Accountability can be difficult, but it is a major key ingredient to taking responsibility for our actions and of course, our words. Fighting for this integrity will grow our capacity to face the obstacles that continually force us to compromise God’s truth. It also makes it slightly easier to not over-promise things, change jobs, critical decisions or find a different circle of friends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the road to integrity will ever be perfect, come on guys, we are merely humans. No matter how much integrity we may obtain, we will never be perfect. This is especially true in times of fear, disaster, and chaos when the temptation is even greater to make a wrong choice. The key is to stand strong, root ourselves in His word, take responsibility for our actions if we do happen to fail, and grow with intention. Having a heart of integrity will help us recognize our mistakes and reach out for God’s forgiving grace.
Lastly, remember this..
Integrity is not something that you either have or don’t have; it’s a lifestyle that we must intentionally strive for. Be intentional about striving for God’s truth and wisdom. Stand against everything that tries to distract and rob us of integrity. Determine to run hard after the things that truly matter. Integrity is more precious than gold and more important than our own personal comfort. Identifying and believing that God’s Word is the only standard by which we should evaluate or develop our core values is the first step in developing integrity. Determine today to start opening your heart to a lifestyle of knowing what integrity is and where it comes from.