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A Living Definition of Integrity

Like math? An integer is a whole number, right? Our word integrity comes from the same root as the word integer. Integrity is really the concept of being whole, of being one, or of being the same all the time. D. L. Moody said that character is who we are in the dark.

Integrity is the foundation for our relationships as well as our reputation. Much is at stake every time we make another moral choice. Do what is right and it will probably cost you. Do what is wrong and it will most likely cost you far more.

SOME BRIEF THOUGHTS ABOUT LIVING WITH INTEGRITY…

The cost of living with integrity is less than the cost of living without it.

Doing what is right will cost you more on your taxes. You’ll work harder. You’ll lose the “friendships” of people who want you to compromise and cut corners with them. Cutting corners is the norm, after all.

Doing wrong, on the other hand, can cost you your job, your family, your testimony, or even your life. It can devastate people around you.

Add into this equation that God is a just and equitable God. As Noah said, “The Judge of all the earth will do right.” That means He’ll handle the rewards too.

Integrity requires a correct disposition in the heart.

We should determine who we are and what we’re like before the situations come along that are bound to tempt us to fail. Daniel “purposed in his heart” that he would not compromise. Joseph had determined ahead of time he wasn’t going to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife. Paul set himself to endure persecution in Jerusalem and marched ahead. Decide now that you’re going to do the right thing before the test comes.

Integrity is extremely hard to restore.

People should always forgive, but they don’t, and trust isn’t mandatory – it’s earned over time. When we blow our integrity, we put a dent in our track record and hand people an excuse not to trust us, and getting that trust back can be extremely difficult.

Restoration is possible – don’t forget that. You can be restored, so if you’ve blown it, realize that God can forgive you and use you again, but there may be some consequences of our wrongful choice.

Integrity opens doors.

The boss is watching – you can be guaranteed of that. And even if he’s not, God is. People promote people that they trust, so integrity makes a positive difference during this life and not just during the life to come.

I heard a story of a little boy shopping for a gift for his Mom. He wanted to get her a cookie jar and he was opening and closing every single cookie jar on the shelf. The clerk asked why and he said, “I want the one that’s most quiet.”

Do the right thing.

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