When referring to a person, integrity is defined as having a quality of being honest or fair. It can also be seen as sticking to a moral code.
I have been thinking a lot about integrity lately.
One of my girlfriends and I are doing this rather intense work out and with it comes a lot and I mean, a lot of work. However, if we would spend the 6 days a week in the gym that we do and then go home, eat like we have the metabolisms of a 10 year old boy then we would be ruining the integrity of what we are doing. It would also mean that I was not committing to what I had promised myself. Saying I work out and then seeing no results would make me look rather foolish, no?
Integrity is a large part of all our lives. We only really have our integrity, our character. Money can come and go, our looks can fade, our charm can wither if we are too tired or stressed, but our character is what everything is built on. When I say I will do something I want the person I say that to to trust me.
There is a verse in James that has become one of my favourite: But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.
Integrity starts with understanding what you can give, what you have space for and what your priorities are.
When we understand our position and where we are coming from we can make decisions, promises and plans based on this starting point. To have integrity does not mean giving everything, but knowing what you can and cannot accomplish or do, particularly for someone else.
Additionally, this verse is part of a passage where we are forced to look at how we are treating others. Patience, humility and self-sacrifice are also described in this passage.
It makes me think that when we live lives of integrity all those things are among the characteristics that become part of who you in the practice of having integrity, in building character.
In order to have integrity a person must also be patient, treat others well, be humble and self-sacrificial.
It is so easy to say “sure I will get you in touch with this person” or “Yeah, we should do coffee sometime” and then promptly forget. We schedule plans and then make excuses or we start building a relationship with someone and then decide they are not enough of a priority to us and simply filter them out of our lives.
I love connecting people. It is part of who I am. I don’t charge for what I do, I just want to make sure everyone knows the people they need to know. However, it can be super easy to say “oh yeah, you should meet this person” and then when I get home from that party or networking event, want to take a nice hot bath rather than send that email.
What was my priority in that moment? The person or my own comfort?
When we decide that what we say will be what happens then integrity comes much easier.
Let’s challenge each other to live lives of integrity. Our character is really all we have. Once that is tarnished then fixing it is much more difficult to earn back.