Shawn is a great employee. Mr. Jessop has complete trust in Shawn. He allows him to close the store every night, count the money, and put it in the safe before locking up the store. One night, after properly completing all of the closing procedures, Shawn grabbed a bag of chips and a large soda without permission from the owner and without paying for them. He consumed them on his way home. Did Shawn act with integrity? Do any of us act with integrity at all times? Please read more.
What does it mean to be a person of integrity? The dictionary tells us that integrity is a firm adherence to a moral code. Integrity means incorruptibility. It is an unimpaired condition or soundness. Integrity is the quality or state of being complete or undivided.
Many of us classify ourselves as law abiding citizens, yet, when our Apple Maps or Waze app tells us that there are no police up ahead on the road, we routinely exceed the speed limit. Are we failing to exhibit integrity?
From the time we were young children, and snuck a cookie from the cookie jar when our mother was in the other room, we seemed to master the art of living one way when we can be caught and living another way when no one is watching.
Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks honestly walks securely, but one whose ways are crooked will fare badly.”
Proverbs 11:3 “The honesty of the upright guides them; the faithless are ruined by their duplicity.”
Proverbs 28:6 “Better to be poor and walk in integrity than rich and crooked in one’s ways.”
There are posters that tell us that integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. There are other posters that tell us that integrity is doing in the dark what you would do in the light of day. Both of these are good descriptions. We all know that sin loves the cover and concealment of darkness. Many of our sins are committed when no one sees us. Most of us have areas of sinfulness that we would be mortified if brought to the attention of others.
To be clear it is far from easy to live a life of perfect integrity, but it is something we should all be striving for. As followers of Jesus, we should live like He lived. He is a true example of integrity. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.” Yes, Jesus was tempted just like us, but He lived the high moral code by day and by night. He simply never sinned.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are reminded that we are a new creation in Christ and the old has passed away. And in Philippians 2:12-13, Paul tells the people that they have obeyed in his presence, but he exhorts them to now obey in his absence.
The list of sins we try to hide and conceal is endless. Some children consume alcohol and drugs when they are out of the sight of their parents. Some women spend too much money shopping and then hope their husbands won’t find out. Some men cheat on their taxes and never tell their wife. And, of course, we are living in an epidemic of people viewing porn when no one is around. Clearly, we all have work to do.
We all have areas in our life that need attention if we want to live with more integrity. I will simply close this message by asking you these two questions: What things do you do in the dark that you would never want brought to the light of day? What things do you conceal that you would not want revealed? These are the first things that demand your attention if you want to live a life more pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Let’s all recommit ourselves to living with integrity at all times and in all situations.
Heavenly Father, your Son Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Instill in my heart the passion for truth and give me the courage to live with integrity. I know that everything I do in the dark will one day be brought to the light of day, so help me to live in a way that is fully pleasing to you. Amen!
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