We have a cat named Patches and from the first day we got her she seems to like to follow me around and watch everything I do. She is particularly fascinated when I take a shower or shave. The first time she came into the bathroom and saw me in the shower she would paw at the door. When I would get out she would Then watch me shave, following me to the kitchen to watch me make my coffee and breakfast. It is as she was waiting for me to do one particular thing I do not know what that thing is as of yet because after three years she is still watching. We are all being watched and it is not to see what we are doing right but to wait until we do something wrong. Whether you are a Pastor, Rabbi, Chaplin or lay man. No matter what you believe, whether you be a Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist or Jewish. People are watching waiting for that chance when they can point at you and say ‘Look at that hypocrite”.
“In such an age as this, when there is so little sound conviction, when principle is cast to the winds, and when a general latitudinarianism, both of thought and practice, seems to rule the day, it is still the fact that a man who is decided in his belief, speaks his mind boldly, and acts according to his profession, is sure to command the reverence of mankind.”
This was said by Charles Spurgeon over one hundred years ago and it is just as applicable today as it was back then. The word integrity means wholeness or to be complete the Bible describes a man of integrity as upright or blameless. Jesus described the religious leaders of His time in Matthew 15:8 as men lacking integrity when He said ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” A man if integrity speaks the truth all the time, he is the same at home, at work and in private. Whether on the internet, doing your taxes or dealing with others he will consistently choose to do the right thing. There is an every growing lack of integrity in our world. This world is in desperate need of men who keep their word as leaders in our homes, our work places, our churches and our government.
There is nothing to fear as a man of integrity. Mark Twain said: “Speaking honestly is better. It takes a lot of stress out of our lives. If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything, but if you don’t tell the truth you have to remember what you said.” If you live a life of integrity you have nothing to fear what you will have is peace. As a man of integrity you do not have to expend untold amounts of energy covering your tracks. Constantly looking over your shoulder not only gives you emotional stress but a nasty kink in your neck. Integrity will provide you with the security to know that the path I am walking is the right one. Proverbs 10:9 - the man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
When I do my testing at work I look at what is on the inside. I have had patients that appear totally healthy when they walk into my room only to find a cancer growing on the inside. Without this testing they would have never known they were sick. So how can we test our lives against a man of integrity? David was a man of integrity was called a man after God’s own heart. In Psalm 15 he gives some areas we can test.
He who does not backbite with his tongue,Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend
We show our integrity in our relationships with others, instead of backstabbing, gossiping or lying about others. Integrity calls us to build people up and treat them with respect. It is far more productive to exalt someone than it is to tear them down.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,But he honors those who fear the LORD;
A man of integrity puts character above everything else. There are those that have obtained massive amounts of wealth and yet are the poorest people I know because they have no integrity. Integrity should be placed above all wealth, popularity or position. As a man of integrity we should despise deception and honor those that walk with God. And honor others who walk with integrity.
“who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind”
A man if integrity keeps his promises. When my children were growing up they knew there was one thing that never would change. If I promised them something that it would come true. Sometimes I had to make sacrifices to keep that promise, yet that is what a man of integrity is called to do. A man of integrity pays his debts and keeps his vows no matter what the cost.
He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent
A man of integrity cannot be bought at any price; he will not allow money to corrupt him. He does not steal; he pays a fair wage and does not lie on his taxes. He treats everyone with fairness and honesty. A man of integrity is am man that can be trusted in all things.
Integrity does not come easy and is not easy to maintain, it will take discipline and commitment. Integrity is something we need to, have to work on every day of lives. It takes courage to walk with integrity, especially in a world that is so lacking in it. The last commitment is to find those that will hold you accountable. Whether it be family or close friends, integrity requires accountability and in return promise them that you to will hold them accountable in the same way. I remember a quote I do not remember the source but it says this; “Physical courage will make a man strong on one way. Moral courage to stand in integrity will make a man strong in many way to numerous to count”