What is integrity? Oxford Dictionary defines it this way:
1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness:
“he is known to be a man of integrity”
synonyms: honesty · probity · rectitude · honor · good character ·
2. the state of being whole and undivided:
“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
synonyms: unity · unification · coherence · cohesion · togetherness ·
• the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction:
“the structural integrity of the novel”
synonyms: soundness · strength · sturdiness · solidity ·
• internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data:
I find this definition very interesting in light of the morals and values of today’s world. What is right and wrong seem to have been flipped. Our moral compass is no longer pointing to the one true North, God and His word. We have even begun, in the Church, to follow the corrupt compass of the world and are mixing that with our sense of Christianity, distorting what God said is truth. This is an abomination before the Lord. We need to get our act together and re-learn what is right and wrong using God’s word as our compass. Yes it will isolate us and make us a target for the world to accuse us of wrong doing. But if we don’t get these things sorted out in our lives, we lose our integrity before God who is the only one whose opinion matters in this regard. Without integrity, we are no different than the world in its sinfulness and selfish living. If I do not have integrity, I have an idol that I worship; that idol is self. “You shall have no other gods before me!” Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-21
All sin is self worship. Even the tiniest sin breaks the first commandment. If you break one commandment you have broken them all because they all flowing out of the first one. It is a good thing that we have a gracious God. The penalty of sin is death. He made a way for us to not have to suffer the consequences of our sin. Before He ever created us, He knew we would fail. He gave us the right to choose. We chose sin. But before He created us, He also planned a way for us to be redeemed. That means, our sin caused us to become slaves to sin and the author of sin, Satan. The only way for a slave to be freed is to be purchased by someone who will set them free. So, what was the set purchase price? Death is the price. How can God redeem/purchase us? He Has to pay the price. So He sent His son to take on human flesh and live here with us. He went through everything but did not sin. Because of that, He qualified to be the perfect sacrifice. He was beaten, mutilated and then hung on a cross to fulfill the law and purchase us back. But He has never taken our choices away from us. God owns us but has given us freedom. We have a right to choose Him because He paid the penalty for us. In that, we are free when we choose Christ. All we have to do is acknowledge Him to be Lord and master in our lives. Accept Him as our redeemer. Declare to the world that our allegiance is now to God forever. And then walk obedient to His word. That means that we must build integrity according to what God wants for us rather than what we want. We are now servants of the King of Kings, Jesus the Christ/Messiah. There is no freedom without Him. Paul wrote in Galatians, “It is for freedom that we were set free.” We must not return to the darkness where we were slaves. Do not take in the practices that enslaved us. In Revelation Christ gave a revelation to John. Jesus said he had something against 6 of the churches. One of the things Jesus has against the church is that they were incorporating sinful practices into their lives. They were also distorting the scriptures allowing people to lead them the wrong way. Faithfulness is part of integrity. If we are not faithful to what God has taught us in the scriptures, our integrity crumbles.
Integrity is a cohesive holding together of what is right making it strong. It is being faithful with right attitudes and actions. It is a building of truth in the inner man, the heart. It is honesty even when there are consequences that we do not like. Nobody can steal your integrity. But, you can allow it to erode and fall away.
Think about what is going on in your heart and your church. You can make a difference with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Build integrity into your life. You will be blessed.