Monday, March 14, 2016

What is integrity? - Secrets of Ministry Success #13

The dictionary defines integrity as “adherence to moral principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” William D. Lawrence explained, “Integrity is the integration of one’s life around his core values.” John Maxwell said, "Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are."

Integrity is doing what is right when no one is looking. Integrity is doing the same in secret as you would do if everyone was looking. It is important to be on guard when you are not in the spotlight. Don’t give yourself little treats when you are out of town or out of the public eye. Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.”

Integrity is the foundation for a successful man, organization, society, or nation. Andrew Carnegie said, "A great business is seldom if ever built up, except on the lines of strictest integrity."

Your integrity will define your life. Any fruit your life produces will be measured by your integrity or lack thereof.

Skill is not enough, you also need integrity. “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Psalm 78:72). We need both integrity and skill. Some have integrity but no skill, others have skill but no integrity.

Integrity takes a lifetime to build and a second to lose. Reputation takes your whole life to create, but it can be destroyed in a moment.

Integrity is keeping your word, even when it is hard. If it down comes to keeping your word versus keeping your money, let the money go and keep your word. Money can be replaced, but integrity, once lost, is gone forever. Peter Scotese said,
"Integrity is not a 90 percent thing, not a 95 percent thing; either you have it or you don't."

Integrity is taking a stand for what is right, even when it is unpopular. Abraham Lincoln observed, "I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what I light I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong."

Make up your mind that even if no one else has integrity; you are going to operate in integrity. Oswald Chambers wrote, “To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but…from our Lord’s standpoint it does not matter if I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud.”
Integrity is doing what is right, no matter what. Martin Luther King Jr. preached,
 “The time is always right to do what is right.” George Eliot
wrote, “Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right, and stick to it."
My relationships will be helped or hindered by my integrity. No one can remain neutral in the presence of a man or woman of integrity. Integrity is uncomfortable because it makes others uncomfortable. Those who are willing to cheat, lie, and steal are uncomfortable in the presence of one who is unwilling to compromise his integrity.

Integrity requires you to face the good, the bad, and the ugly in yourself. Integrity is a personal fight against yourself. It is a fight no one else can fight on your behalf. It is a fight that must be fought everyday. It is a fight that can be lost in a moment. Leonard Drozd said, "He is most cheated who cheats himself." The greatest achievement is to go to your grave with your integrity intact.

Integrity is knowing that no matter where you go or what you do, God is with you.“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). Are your actions done in the name of Jesus?  Every day is different, but every day is exactly the same in one way, at the beginning of every day and at the end of every day, all that is left is you and Him. People may not know if you have integrity, but God will know and you will know.

According to Pastor Billy Allen, integrity does four things for you. Integrity protects you, preserves you, prospers you, and creates a path for you. He adds that integrity does three things inside you. Integrity keeps you teachable, transparent, and trustworthy.