“In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated “integrity” means “the condition of being without blemish; completeness, perfection, sincerity, soundness, uprightness, wholeness.” Integrity in the New Testament means “honesty and adherence to a pattern of good works.”
Integrity: in-teg’-ri-ti (tom, tummah): The translation of Tom, simplicity,“”soundness,“”completeness,” rendered also “upright,“”perfection.” Its original sense appears in the phrase letom (1 Kings 22:34; 2 Chronicles 18:33). In all the places it seems to carry the meaning of simplicity, or sincerity of heart and intention, truthfulness, uprightness. In the plural (tummim) it is one of the words on the breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 28:30; Deuteronomy 33:8; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65), one of the sacred lots, indicating, perhaps, “innocence” or “integrity” Septuagint Aletheia). The word “integrity” does not occur in the New Testament, but its equivalents may be seen in “sincerity,” “truth,” the “pure heart,” the “single eye,” etc. In the above sense of simplicity of intention it is equivalent to being honest, sincere, genuine, and is fundamental to true character (W. L. Walker).
When we sense the inundating holiness and perfection of the Lord we realize how unraveled we are. Undoubtedly, we will always have the opportunity to lie, to walk away aware that we have received more change from a cashier than we should have, to make promises and then not fulfill them, to hide important information to accomplish a goal, to violate a professional conduct code, to avoid responsibilities, to do the wrong thing whatever the case might be. However, along with the chance to choose the improper action will also be the opportunity to decide to act correctly or to assume a posture that might not be well liked but still right.
On one occasion, Martin Luther King Jr. made this powerful statement: “And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
We must choose to do right, not because it is easy or just lovely, but because we as believers are the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). Certainly, being the salt of the world means that we might bring Christ’s flavor, which is in us, to a humanity that is empty, sad and lost in sins as we once were.
Being the light is even more deeply because Jesus is the only one in the scriptures that is also called the light of the world (John 8:12), so in the same way that Jesus is light for the ones in darkness, we should be light for our neighbors, coworkers, or anyone in darkness as well. So one way to let that light shine over others is to proceed with the integrity of heart in our lives. Yes, our lives as believers should be a testimony of righteousness (not perfection) that speaks louder than our words.
The biblical virtue of integrity points to a consistency of character, this means that we should be the same person everywhere we go. What we want to point out is that we cannot be one person at work and then a different individual in church. When I say this, I do not mean that we should view ourselves in a punitive and unmerciful way, what I am trying to say is that we must be able to see the things that are wrong in us but objectively.
It is so easy to be Christian on Sunday’s services. Still, our hearts are going to be tested. Inevitably, the chance to demonstrate who we say we are with acts is going to come. For example, many people say that “money changes people”, I totally disagree with that. Money does not change anybody. Truthfully, money has the power not only to purchase material stuff but also to expose the true nature and character of a person. Therefore, I believe that a person does not become a petulant or greedy being because his or her financial status has changed- absolutely not! That crooked nature was in the individual all the time and these new good circumstances undoubtedly exposed it. When the Lord allows things that test our character, it is with a higher and graceful purpose. It is not to harm us, to embarrass us, or to damage us, but with this sole intention: that we might see our weaknesses and work on them so that we can grow and develop a Christ-like character.
Yes , God is love, but God is also integrity. He does not merely act with integrity; integrity is His character. God will never lie, promise and not fulfill, or mix lies with a truth (which is the same as lying).
There is nothing crooked or dishonest in God at all. Everything about God is purity and absolute perfection. Our Creator’s holiness is indeed overwhelming; however, what is even more astonishing is that a being with this nature and character deals so patiently and graciously with us. We believe that this unbelievable perfection is what makes God deeply love us despite our imperfections, mistakes, shortcomings, and all that stuff. I confess that many times I used to find myself asking Jesus if He loves me? Or if His Spirit is dwelling in me? Yes, the Spirit of the living God lives inside of me. His Spirit who is not just the Spirit of God but the Holy Spirit of the living God. Isn’t it amazing?
It is wise to set aside time for self-reflection to honestly assess each area of our lives that could be contaminating our whole being. This assessment must be healthy; we must be careful not to slip into shame and negativity in our areas of struggle, but focused on redemptive solutions and positive goals. We should never forget that in Christ we are whole.
Indeed, to be a person with integrity, regardless if Christian or not, is not simple, but it is not impossible, and the harvest certainly is worth it. Sometimes telling the truth may carry consequences for us, but this should not stop us from doing what we know would be right, regardless of the outcome.
We should relinquish living in the same old thinking and wrong way to be. To this matter, the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:22, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
In this portion of the scripture the Apostle Paul called the Ephesians and is calling us as believers to a transformed life. The apostle roots this in the fact that God has bestowed on us a new life in the Spirit; Christ literally gives us a new identity. To express the struggle between the new and the old, Paul uses the imagery of taking off and putting on clothing, a picture anyone in the ancient world or today can understand.
Also, in “Romans, Paul spoke of clothing oneself with the Lord Jesus Christ and not gratifying the desires of the evil inclination (Rom 13:14). When someone becomes a Christian, that person is supernaturally transformed by entering a close relationship with Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, sinful tendencies remain latent, and believers must become what they already are in Christ in their daily lives. Paul urges us to get rid of evil practices and practice virtuous behavior instead” (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary of the New Testament)
Unfortunately, our old nature is full of vicious and wicked desires. The enemy hates the human heart that walks in integrity because this crushes the intent to do evil. Inevitably, the offers to do wrong things will always come, but a person that desires and decides to be righteous before the Living God and mankind may defeat corrupted proposals. Clearly we all go through a process of renewing our hearts and minds, we also understand that not everyone walks at the same speed. But to overcome our old self we must be intentional about it.
It is good to point out that there is no middle ground of neutrality in the Christian life. Either one is succumbing to the powerful influences that cause moral corruption, or the Lord empowers one to appropriate righteous and pure attitudes and behavior. In my personal life, I saw myself dealing with certain things that deeply compromised me, and until I made the serious commitment to change and stay persistent about that, I didn’t see any improvement. The Holy Spirit is our helper, but we must make the decision to allow Him to help us by doing our part.
We as Christians love to rebuke demons, devils, and all that- which is excellent- actually, the apostle Paul said in his second letter to the Corinthians that “we are not unaware of his schemes.”. But I believe that many of us also should start to rebuke ourselves for our lack of integrity.
Satan can’t force anyone to do his desires and will; he indeed can be tremendously convincing and is able to arrange the ideal circumstances to make us fall, but we are more than conquerors in Christ. We have the mind of our Heavenly Father, which means that we are fighting from the platform of victory, so the victory is ours. Christ paid a high price for it, so we cannot place what belongs to us in the enemy’s hands.
God Bless You
Roxanna Guzman 🙂