THE LIFE OF INTEGRITY

October 13, 2022
October 14, 2022

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

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Integrity. Not a popular word these days, even in the church. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “integrity” has three components: incorruptibility, soundness, and completeness.

 

Let’s look at each of these a bit closer.

  1. Incorruptibility. This characteristic is described by Merriam-Webster as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” It is further defined as “incapable of being bribed or morally corrupted.” This, I believe, is the definition that most of us think about when we consider the meaning of integrity. It is the person who holds so firmly to their moral values that they will not even consider the mention of a bribe to cause them to stray by the minutest detail.
  2. Soundness. This second component is described by Merriam-Webster as “an unimpaired condition” of being strong, firm, and stable. For instance, a building with structural integrity will be able to stand under its intended load without failing or fracturing. Similarly, the person with integrity does not fail or fracture even when the tough times come. He is solid, firm, reliable, and will not cave in under pressure.
  3. Completeness. This third component is described by Merriam-Webster as “the quality or state of being complete or undivided.” The person with integrity will be undivided in motive, thought, and action. Basically, what you see is what you get. Their actions match their words, which in turn match their inner motivation. They are true through and through.

    A simple Google search describes the characteristics of the person who exhibits a lack of integrity, some of which are:

    - One who makes decisions based on how it will make them look…basically, it’s all about themselves
    - One who is perfectly happy to let others take the fall for their mistakes.
    - One who is not sensitive to how they negatively influence others and will rarely apologize for the problems they create.
    - One whose self-esteem is based on the opinion of others.
    - One who is hiding behind a mask and keeping secrets.
    - One who doesn’t keep promises.
    - One who makes too many compromises.

Integrity

I asked the HOLY SPIRIT why HE would have me turn to secular sources for a discourse on integrity. HIS response was two-fold. First, to educate and inform those who are more intellectually minded. Second, to show HIS children that, if even the world knows the importance of integrity, how much more should those of us who belong to HIS family?

Personal application.

So often, we hear of a minister of the Gospel who has had a moral failure. But how many times do we look inward to consider whether or not we are exemplifying integrity in our daily lives and decisions?

Growing up in a pastor’s household, I would often hear my parents’ definition of integrity: being the same person behind the scenes when no one is watching that you are in front of everyone. All too often, church folk hide behind a mask. We place on a façade of religious morals, but then go around gossiping (both spreading and listening to gossip) …or yelling at our spouses as soon as we get in the car from church…or watch a video on our phone that is pornographic in nature…or cheat on financial numbers. And we have everyone fooled except GOD.

Let’s take this a step further. The WORD of GOD says to let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no,” “no.” Anything else is evil! Our integrity is displayed even in how careful we are in keeping our word. We are held to a higher standard than the world. Those in the five-fold ministry are held to an even higher standard. And the LORD is calling us back to a place of integrity.

While we are used to hearing about the lack of integrity in moral failures, we must represent our LORD even, and especially, in our everyday lives.

For example, our decisions. Is your “yes” truly “yes” or your “no, no” in the decisions that you make? Recently, a woman who is prophetic had an opportunity before her. She prayed and felt the HOLY SPIRIT leading her to take the opportunity. Others who are godly confirmed this decision, so she went ahead and said “yes.” However, after about a week, she began to back out, saying that the LORD was leading her a different direction. Is this integrity? The LORD does not change HIS mind. Either she did not obey when she initially said “yes,” or she disobeyed when she backed out. Either way, she was inconsistent and unreliable. About a month later, her true motives were exposed. Since prophets use their mouths to speak forth the Word of the LORD, there MUST be a foundational core built on integrity!!! For by our words we are justified, and by them we are condemned (Matthew 12:37).

What is the HOLY SPIRIT speaking to you about integrity? What area of your life has cracks in it, lacking the structural integrity needed to face the storms of life? What activity or feeling are you hiding behind closed doors?

Determine today to become a man or woman of integrity, doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

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*All Scriptures are in the New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.

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