Without Integtity A Man Cannot Be Trusted!
By Colin Campbell (Franklin, Tennessee, USA)
Integrity is a word that is seldom used these days. Most of our modern world regards this word with a vacant stare. Many have hardly ever heard of it. To some, it belongs to the ancient past when things were a lot slower, when folk had more time to think about what they were going to say before they said it. But in this fast-paced world, many believe that it doesn’t matter any more whether your words can be entirely trusted or not. It’s the “survival of the fittest” that counts. Since most people are cheating their way through life, why not join the crowd? To think about integrity is likely to put one on a guilt trip, and who wants that? But whether we like this word or not, it is as important today as ever it was.
The Webster’s Dictionary explains the meaning of integrity as:
1. Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.
2. An unimpaired condition: soundness.
3. The quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness. It comes from the root word, ‘entire’.
God Himself, Who created all things, adheres perfectly and completely to all the moral codes and laws that He has created. There is no impaired condition with God. He is complete and undivided. There is no question regarding God’s integrity. Moses, speaking of God’s character, in Deuteronomy 32:3-4 writes, “Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”
Speaking through the prophet Malachi, God says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”(Malachi 3:6 )
Even the prophet, Balaam, who lacked integrity himself (because he loved the wages of unrighteousness), prophesied, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 ; 2 Peter 2:15 ).
The Apostle James states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 ).
Because God is a God of integrity, surely those who profess to follow Him should also walk in integrity. It should be a high priority. Sadly, this is no longer the case with many who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ.
A man’s word should be his bond. There was a time when a handshake was considered a binding agreement. Not so any longer. These days, even a man’s signature does not count for much, especially if he has a slick attorney. If we are clever enough, we may get away with broken promises down here, but the day will most certainly come, when the God of integrity will catch up with us up there.
IT’S THE HEART THAT COUNTS:
Integrity was the focal point in Abimelech’s life-threatening dream because of taking Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Abimelech pleaded, “In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” God, the judge of all integrity quickly responds, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against me; therefore I did not let you touch her” (Genesis 20:3-6 ). Abimelech’s integrity was not some “spur of the moment,” “out of the blue” incident. Integrity is not an occasional accident of honesty that comes from a sudden brain wave. True integrity has only one place in which to dwell, and this is the deep inner core of the human being, the place called the heart. God acknowledges Abimelech’s heart integrity when He says, “You did this in the integrity of your heart.”
The integrity that God approves has nothing to do with wealth, education, brilliance of mind, outward appearance, or social standing. It is all about the deep, inner core of godly character. Evidently, although a heathen king, Abimelech was a very honest man who did not approve of Abraham’s half-truths. Abimelech reproves Abraham for his lack of integrity. Abraham offers the excuse of fear for his wimpy behavior (Genesis 20:9-13 ). It almost appears that Abraham would rather lose his wife than his life. I wonder how Sarah felt about this wimpiness? God appeared to Solomon and challenged him to walk before Him as his father David had walked, “in integrity of heart” (1 Kings 9:4 ).
May God save us men from losing our integrity because of fear, especially the fear of losing our life!
CAN YOUR WIFE TRUST YOU?
The world desperately needs men who will speak the truth, no matter what the cost. Integrity has a lot to do with holding high moral standards. It is moral godliness. It is all about trust-worthiness. A woman needs a man that she can trust and a man that will be true to his word. A man of integrity is a man who can be respected and honoured. The lustful eyes of the porn-peeping, womanizer do not belong to the man of integrity. Internet porn is sucking vast multitudes of men to hell. Beware! The sleek, slimy acts of many 21st century “Christian” playboy men do not belong to the man of integrity.
CAN YOUR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES TRUST YOU?
The cunning, crafty, crooked business deals that promise much (but bring in little) do not belong to the man of integrity. The man of integrity gives his word and, by gum, come hell or high water, he will stick to it. Integrity and faithfulness go hand in hand. Integrity is heart honesty. Faithfulness is sticking to your word, no matter what may come your way. The King of kings and Lord of lords is worthy to reign, and will reign. He is called, “Faithful and True.” And the army that follows him on white horses are clothed in white, clean, fine linen (Revelation 19:11-14 ). Again, Revelation 17:14 describes those who follow the Lamb,”These will make war with the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with him are called, chosen, andfaithful.”
Integrity will win in the end. All who despise it will lose. It is not enough to only admire the virtues of integrity. We must personally embrace it and possess it.
INTEGRITY IS A PROTECTION:
Integrity is one of the great preservatives for the peril of our times.
Psalm 25:21 , “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.” Psalm 26:11 , “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.” Psalm 41:12 , “As for me, you uphold me in my integrity.”
Integrity is a very precious jewel to those who realize its worth.
HOLD FAST YOUR INTEGRITY!
Job confesses, “Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me” (Job 27:5 ). What a powerful declaration to come from a man who was suffering such a vicious attack from Satan. God himself testifies about Job to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without cause?”
Oh how tempting it is to compromise integrity, even just a little, to get a good business deal, to get off a speeding ticket, or to squirm out of a criticism you may have spoken about someone. You desperately want to save your own face. Multitudes compromise integrity every day to get their way in law suits. Politics has now become a dirty word for lack of integrity. We are living in a world where compromise is considered a normal way of living. All I can say is this: if you have to compromise, even a little, make sure it is not your integrity.Do not throw integrity to the wind, no matter what you may have to lose to maintain it. To throw away your integrity is almost the same as throwing away your soul.
Most of us have let integrity slide in one way or another at some time in our lives. It’s not too late to repent. Ask for forgiveness, and pick it up again.
“The Gospel Faith Messenger” Ministry. PO Box57,
Paraparaumu 5254, New Zealand. Email