The very word “integrity” is derived from the Latin word integritas, which means wholeness that is integrated. To integrate means to make all other parts function as one. A person of integrity is whole, that is, entirely integrated. Not split or divided, single-minded. The choices and acts of an integrated person that is his intellect, emotion and will are subject to virtue. In other words, there is perfect integration between what is in his mind (things that are virtuous) and what is in his words (virtue). A person of integrity is completely one within himself and so he can act nothing but who he is within.
A Person who lacks integrity is one who is double minded. No one really knows who he is. He is neither black nor white, doesn’t keep to his words, not trust worthy. Sometimes he is spiritual, at other times indifferent to the things of God, generous today but selfish tomorrow. In church he is a Christian and talks like one; outside church he is somebody else. When he sees a man, he pretends to be a friend and later stabs them in the back. He is one whose character changes with different situations and people. He becomes who people want him to be just to have their affirmation, approval and acceptance. He becomes a chameleon to ensure people remain useful to him.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We must realize that living a lifestyle of integrity is by thinking it, believing it, becoming it and finally living it. It should be noted that there are people who are not born again and have integrity but it takes the Spirit of God to sustain a lifestyle of integrity. We must sift our thoughts and actions in line with the Word of God. To live an integrated life, only the Spirit of God must dictate our reaction to every situation. Since the Spirit of God cannot lie, doubt, cheat or defraud then I won’t.
3 FOLDS OF INTEGRITY
- Integrity to God: Your integrity must be founded on the Word of God. Be true to God and don’t lie to Him. Keep your words and vows to God. We must have integrity in keeping to our quiet time with God, paying our tithes, offering and vows. We must stay true to our commitments in His vineyard and ensure we are not defiled. Be true to God about your struggles and let Him help you out.
- Integrity to Man: We must keep our words to our fellow men. As a service person, we should deliver in and on time. Pay back our debts as and when due. Go to work on time and ensure we do the work we are being paid. We must have integrity in giving the quality that was promised in our quotations as contractors. To our fellow man, our word should be enough to make them go to sleep.
- Integrity to Self: The greatest enemy an individual can have is oneself. We need to realize that people who lie to others first lie to themselves and buy into it and that’s why they believe others will buy into their lie. We know our weak points and challenges, it’s time to tell ourselves the truth; I don’t have any money and don’t have what will bring that money, obviously I need a Job! If you are dealing with a sin or weight, tell yourself the truth on what makes you keep falling and stay away from it by the help of the Holy Spirit.
Holiness is chastity separation, consecration, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement, consecrated, devoted, sacred. Holy meaning set apart from a common to a sacred use.
We are a holy nation the bible says but there is a call to BE HOLY. A lifestyle of Holiness is the very core of our living.
Exodus 28:4, 36-37
4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. 36 You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 37 And you shall put it on a blue cord that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban”.
From this scripture, we will realize that what is on their forehead (that is what people see must be HOLINESS TO THE LORD) and this must match what is in their heart. It is not enough for us to be a carrier of the Holy God; we must live a Holy life. Our neighbours must see Holiness in us. Holiness is a walk. When we gave our lives to Christ, we got married to God and living a life of unholiness will be cheating on God, hence it means we are breaking our covenant of marriage to God. To stay married to God, we must stay true to our commitments on the altar. To live a life of chastity and separation is Holiness.
Friends’, living a life of integrity and Holiness is not just a way, it is the only way.
For further Study
Personal declaration for the day
I will walk in integrity and live holy.
Questions for you to reflect on
Give an example of when you showed integrity?
Give an example of the benefit of walking in holiness?