Integrity is vital because it is the foundation of trust. Trust is essential in all relationships, personal and professional. When people know that they can trust you to do what you say you will do, they are more likely to cooperate with you, share information with you, and recommend your services. Integrity also contributes to your personal credibility. People are more likely to believe what you have to say if they know that you are an honest person. Finally, integrity is essential because it reflects your values and principles. People respect those who stand up for what they believe in, even when it is not popular or easy.
Definition of Integrity
Integrity is a word that is often used but not always understood. Webster defines integrity as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; the quality of being complete or undivided." When we think of people of integrity, we may think of those who are always truthful, never cheat, and always do the right thing.
It clearly addresses integrity in the Bible and its need as a believer in Christ Jesus. The Biblical term integrity occurs sixteen times in the Scriptures and is one of the most important words. Collectively, you can gather the meaning to be as "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.
There are people in the Bible who are considered ones with integrity. God spoke of Job. “He holdeth fast his integrity.” Job himself said, “. . . I will not remove mine integrity from me.” The Lord said of Abimelech's heart, 'Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this." I don't know about you, but I want the Lord to recognize me as a person of integrity.
Having a Title as a Christian Doesn't Immune You From Lacking Integrity
The Bible teaches that integrity is a great virtue, but it also says that not every person has integrity. Sadly, this is true for those that profess Jesus as their Lord, are consistent in church attendance, and even some that hold leadership positions in the church. As Christians, we should be guarding our testimony continuously. In James 5:12, the Bible tells us to let your "yes" be yes, and your "no" be no. What we say and commit to out of our mouths should be of utmost importance. Those around us should know we are men and women of integrity; they can trust us by the words we speak.
The Effects of No Integrity
There are many effects of a lack of integrity. Perhaps the most obvious is that others can no longer trust them when someone lacks integrity. This can lead to ruined relationships, destroyed families, ruined ministries, lost business opportunities, and even criminal charges. A lack of integrity can also create an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion in any particular family, group, institution, ministry, or organization. It's like cancer; as it spreads, it can take over other areas of the body. In time, if untreated, it will bring death.
Proverbs 11:3: "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their own wickedness." As Christians, we need to let integrity guide us in everything we do. When we walk in integrity, we live our lives according to our values and beliefs, no matter what anyone else thinks. This means being honest in our words and actions, even when no one is looking. It means standing up for what we believe, even when it's unpopular. It means consistently living our lives according to the Bible.
In closing, it's frustrating when you encounter someone who lacks integrity. It can be hard to trust them, and working with them is challenging. However, there are ways to deal with someone who lacks integrity. First, you should try to understand their reasons for doing this. Second, you should be careful not to react negatively to keep you from bringing restoration to the situation. Finally, you should take steps to repair the damage that has been done by being open and honest about how you feel. Always remember, we are not perfect; we all make mistakes. God is good at extending his grace towards us; let's do the same for them.
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MISSIONS ON YOUR HEART?
If you are a ministry, minister, or person of God that wants to dive deeper into missions but don't know how that looks for you, feel free to contact me. I would love to explore your heart and see where God leads you. I can share with you all the avenues that I am aware of in the hopes of connecting and plugging you into the right place that God has for you in the world of missions. Reaching lives for Jesus Christ in the international fields requires thoughtful planning. There is a mission pipeline sort of speak that needs to be built out specifically for you. I can help you do that.