Living with Integrity

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”

Proverbs 11:3 ESV

Is it easy for you to look into a mirror and find no “masks?” Or do you struggle to sleep at night because of an issue that bothered your conscience earlier? One definition of integrity is being in a state of wholeness and not being divided. It has to do with self-honesty and sincerity – the absence of guile, hypocrisy, and deceit. It is being who we say we are. 

As recovering sinners, integrity is sometimes challenging – we say we are Christians, but we continue to sin. Before God, we cannot hide – He sees everything we think of and do. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 ESV) 

Our integrity is one thing we will bring to our deathbed – are you happy with your current state of integrity, or not?

So How Do You Live a Life with Integrity? 

  1. Avoid compromising your honesty in minor things – it is a matter of habit. Any small act can become a habit later – get rid of making small lies! One little lie here, one trivial dishonesty there, and you will find it much easier to compromise your integrity in big things. 
  2. Accept the reality that we cannot be perfect on this side of eternity; we are a product of the grace and mercy of God, yet we should pursue integrity with how we live our lives. Seek God’s pardon always. 
  3. Have a nightly review of your conscience and see if you can sleep well – that should be the only reason you cannot sleep well at night. Ask forgiveness from the Lord, who will freely pardon you. If there is anxiety, surrender the thought[s] to God – “Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 TLV) 
  4. Stop all sorts of pretensions and double living – acting one way with a group of people and living another way with others. One way or the other, you will get caught up with your double life and live a troubled life – who is the real you? 
  5. Stop being self-righteous – we are all recovering sinners before God. Others’ weaknesses might be your strengths, but your faults and failures might be other people’s strong points. Don’t be a hypocrite. 
  6. If you have broken relationships in the past, reconcile if possible – if not, seek forgiveness to those you have offended in the Lord and forgive those who offended you. 
  7. If you did not perform well in your roles in the past [especially as a spouse and as a parent], admit to your family your shortcomings and failures and work on building better relationships with them. 
  8. Being at peace with oneself is one of the most significant fruits of life with integrity. The ability to look at oneself in the mirror without finding a mask and to sleep well with an intact conscience are blessings we receive if we live a life of integrity with others, ourselves, and God.

Other Scripture References

  1. “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” (Proverbs 12:22 ESV)
  2. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 ESV)
  3. “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” (Proverbs 28:6 ESV)
  4. “… having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:16 ESV)
  5. Other references: Proverbs 12:22; Colossians 3:23; Titus 2:7; and Luke 16:10. 

For Personal Reflection or Group Discussion

  1. How easy is it for me to make small lies?
  2. Do I live a double life, having dual identities with different groups of people?
  3. Do I have past broken relationships that I have swept under the carpet and not dealt with?

Top image credit: Illustration of a man with a double face, from, © Vlue, stock photo ID: 7678071. Used with permission.

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