The first thing I would like us to grasp in understanding the power of integrity is this: ‘’INTEGRITY IS THE ONLY THING THAT GOD DESIRES FROM US.’’
My statement is derived from my understanding of the fact that everything else that God requires of us is embedded in integrity.
And to create a good understanding of the power of integrity, I would be asking and addressing three questions which are as follows:
1. WHAT IS INTEGRITY?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; it is also the state of being whole and not divided.
From the viewpoint of a Christian, Integrity is holiness, Godly character and virtue such as love, honesty, faith, courage, hope, compassion, sexual morality, self-control, humility, fairness, etc.
A person of integrity is one who portrays Godly character and stands by his moral principles at all times.
This means either in private or in public, people of integrity portray and stand by their Godly convictions or moral principles. That is what it means to be whole and not divided, you have nothing to fear or hide.
Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. It is being true to yourself and what you believe in.
SOME PRACTICAL EXAMPLES OF INTEGRITY:
- In any business or financial dealings, be true and transparent. No exploiting, cheating, or taking advantage of others and there should be no excessive gain or profit.
- Do your best to keep promises. Be a person of your words so people can take you for your word. That is one sure way to build trust and loyalty.
- Be there when you say you would be there. Show up if you say you would or give adequate notice if for reasons beyond your control you cannot show up.
- In your private moments, show integrity in your thoughts or actions and never assume no one is watching you in whatever you do because God is watching.
- Keep your promises to God.
- Treat everyone fairly even if it is not reciprocated by them. Let your integrity not be only displayed for a particular class of people.
- Display honesty, faithfulness, and openness in your relationships.
- Have the ability to keep confidential information to yourself. Never betray a friend’s confidence.
- Display self-control in all your dealings e.g with food, money, relationships, or whatever is placed under your care.
- At your workplace, work with all diligence as if working not for man but for God.
- Take good care of whatever is placed under your care by God and man e.g. your body, properties, money, people, and any position or responsibility given to you.
2. WHAT IS THE PRICE TO PAY FOR INTEGRITY?
Titus 2:7 says, ‘’And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness (AMPC).’’
From this scripture, it is easy to identify that being a person of integrity comes with the price of die-hard commitment. You have to wake up every day with a strong intention and determination to be a person of integrity.
You have to pay the price of discipline and constant effort; you cannot be a person of integrity in some areas of your life or on some days and not on others. You have to be the same person all the time and in all regards.
People of integrity do not have private lives. They are transparent and open such that people can know them for who they truly are.
To be a person of integrity, you must be willing to sacrifice any pleasure, relationship, action, promotion, or success that would cost you your integrity.
Read what Job said: ‘’I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live” (Job 27:5-6).
Vigilance, thoughtfulness, focus, and diligence are the core attributes of a person with integrity. As a person of integrity, you always have to be watchful and focused because the world is filled with opportunities that can cause you to slip away easily from your moral standards and values.
In 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul advises Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely and to stick to them no matter what because it will save both him and those watching Him.
People of integrity are serious about life and all they do. They do not have time to waste on anything unproductive.
3. IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?
Proverbs 10:9, ‘’Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out (NIV).’’
Psalm 18:20, ‘’The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me (NIV).’’
To be a person of integrity is absolutely worth it because it is all that God wants you to be and you cannot escape the blessings of God as a man or woman of integrity.
People of integrity always stand out. The world yearns for people with integrity because they are few. Not so many can pay the price for integrity.
Everyone including dishonest people wants to deal with trustworthy, diligent, and honest people.
Integrity will open doors for you and cause you to dine and associate with respectable and influential people (see Proverbs 22:29).
Integrity will secure your way to the top and keep you there. A lot of people who have attained success or reputable positions have not been able to sustain it for so long because of the absence of character and integrity.
There is no one with greater peace, contentment, and fulfillment like a man or woman of integrity. Your conscience is at rest.
There are so many people of integrity in the Bible but I want to point out Job and Joseph to you. These are great examples of men with integrity. They faced so many challenges but maintained their integrity and in the end, they had good success (see Job 1; Job 42:10-17; Genesis 39:20-23; Genesis 41:41-43).
People of integrity also pay a price of loneliness because integrity is very unpopular but remember the road to true success and eternal life is also unpopular and lonely. That shows you are on the right track.
It is never too late to start the journey of integrity even though I advise you to start now so that you can quickly distance yourself from your history and create a remarkable and secure future.
Let us all thrive to be people that God can vouch for just like He did with Job (see Job 1:8)
INTEGRITY IS EVERYTHING!