Integrity - Don't Leave Home Without It — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Integrity – Don’t Leave Home Without It — Morning Devotions

The trick to integrity is being the same person, no matter the situation. It can be very difficult, but it is well worth it.

By Chris WittsMonday 9 Jan 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Have you heard the story from the US about a man who sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service? It’s the same as our taxation department here in Australia. He said I cheated on my income taxes. I felt so bad I couldn’t sleep – enclosed please find a check for $150. And if I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest of what I owe.

Many of us can relate to that man. We want to be honest, but sometimes we find it easier to be dishonest. And so we try to find a way to compromise our values so that a little bit of lying doesn’t bother our conscience. So what about this word? Integrity? What does it mean? Is it possible to be a person of integrity? Now, the word integrity comes from the same Latin root as ‘integer’. It implies the wholeness of a person.

And just as we would talk about a whole number, we can also talk about a whole person who is not divided person of integrity lives right? Not divided is not a different person in different circumstances. A person of integrity is the same person in private that he or she is in public. I remember the story from Salvation Army history of a young lady who wanted to know if a married couple that she knew respected You want to know if they really loved each other and if their Christianity was real.

So she hid under their house for a week to listen into their conversations to see if their private words matched their public words. And they did. They were people of integrity. I think honesty is one very obvious trait of a person with integrity. Are we prepared to pay the price of honesty?

It means no more little white lies or protecting others from the truth. It means saying what is true Even when it’s hard, we’re going to make things worse. Unfortunately, lying is so much part of life to date, we tend not to notice how widespread it is in our conversations. Are we 100% truthful? We abuse other people’s trust by telling small lies. How many couples, for example, lie to each other just to keep the peace rather than face an air conflict. The Bible, which is God’s revelation to us, is very clear, efficient, for 25 says so put away your lives and speak the truth to one another because we’re all part of one another. And that makes so much sense. We were made by God for connection with each other to get along and live productive lives.

And so God says, no more lying. The Christian life should be marked with integrity and honesty. We’ve got to work hard at maintaining that. The writer in Proverbs 19:1 puts it simply better to be a poor person who lives innocently than to be a wealthy one who talks dishonestly and is a fool. The way of truth is the way of life that God calls us to. And when you speak the truth, you’re showing respect and honesty, treating others with dignity, really. Honesty is not only the best policy, it’s God’s policy as well, and the ability of others to trust you depends on your honesty. Without honesty, there is no trust.

I think it’s obvious that trustworthy people are great to be with. Do you have someone in your life that you completely trust? You are fortunate if you do. In Tom Clancy’s novel ‘Clear and Present Danger’, Jack Ryan is about the only noble character in the book, and as he begins to uncover this clandestine government plot, he’s confronted by the antagonist who makes fun of Jack Ryan’s principles. He says, ‘You’re a Boy Scout, Jack. Don’t you get it? It’s all grey. It’s all grey.’ I wonder how often people of integrity hear a similar statement in the corporate boardrooms or the halls of government – “it’s all grey. It doesn’t matter. There’s no absolute right or wrong values. They say it’s all relative,” but a person of integrity knows that it’s not all grey. There are principles worth standing by and promoting, and there are values that should govern our lives. We’ve got a responsibility to follow God’s law rather than what the crowd says is right. Integrity equals trustworthiness.

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So who are you when nobody is looking at you? Do you do the right thing? No matter what the circumstances? May God help us each day to live by the old book that says we must tell the truth and be a person of integrity.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, your word is quite clear as Christians, we are called to be people who are honest people of integrity. Help me not to leave home without it. Help me to be aware that I need to be a person of integrity at all times. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.