A Matter of Integrityby Cynthia Jennings on December 1, 2021
When you think of the word integrity what comes to mind?
The Old Testament mentions the word integrity multiple times with the connation of “completeness,” “wholeness,” “soundness," or "upright.” It simply means that nothing is lacking and that everything is in proper condition.
The word integrity does not occur in the New Testament, but its equivalents may be seen in "sincerity," "truth," or "pure heart." Thus, “integrity” is comparable to being honest, sincere, genuine, and is fundamental to true character.
To have integrity doesn’t mean that perfection must be your standard. It simply means that you haven’t surrendered an area or areas of your life to unrepentant sin, illegal activity, deception, or any other type of serious compromise.
What you must understand about integrity in order to value it properly is the fact that one area of compromise can seriously damage or destroy you. A good example to describe this is how a home is robbed. A burglar doesn’t need every door and window in a house to be opened in order to rob it. Only one entry point will allow the burglar all of the access needed to vandalize the entire home.
In the same manner, the enemy doesn’t need you to surrender your life entirely to sin before he can go to work. Just one area of compromise lets the enemy in. By way of an example, I’ll use marriage as an illustration. Over my years of counseling, I’ve seen many nice well-intentioned couples whose marriages were destroyed over a simple principle such as financial disobedience to biblical standards. Even though all other areas of their marriages were generally sound, their downfall came from just one “open door.”
Let me be clear, financial disobedience isn’t the only avenue that could destroy a marriage, sexual sin, alcohol/substance abuse, or anger—the list can go on and on. The point I want to make and emphasize is that we need to be people of integrity not just in marriage but in any relational dynamic.
Integrity creates true security and safety for marital relationships, family and friend relationships, personal and business relationships and more important yourself. It means you haven’t left a door open for the enemy to use you in a manner that is displeasing to God. The devil is truly evil and is always looking for a way in to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Therefore, you must not excuse sin in your life or justify an area of vice because you are otherwise a good person.
Integrity should be a character trait of Christians. Christians should be those who cannot be bribed or compromised because we serve God rather than men (Colossians 3:17, 23; Acts 5:29). We’re to be people who keep our word (Matthew 5:37; James 5:12). We’re to love those around us in both word and deed (1 John 3:17–18; James 2:17–18; Ephesians 4:29). We’re called upon to believe in God and therefore to follow Him in all our ways (John 6:19; 15:1–17). Our lives should line up with our belief in God and demonstrate a trust that His ways are best (Proverbs 3:5–6).
PEARLStoPONDER: To live a life of integrity means that every area of your life is in a generally healthy and morally sound condition.
Psalm 25:21-- May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Proverbs 10:9— Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Proverbs 11:3-- The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Proverbs 20:7--he righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!
Luke 16:10-- One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
2 Corinthians 8:21-- For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.