Integrity has two sides: that which you will not do and that which you will do. The latter is often forgotten when it comes to integrity. Integrity is adhering to principles that you or your ethical and moral side hold as truth and of value to follow. Integrity by definition is being “honest” and walking in, “soundness of moral character.”
All too often we know what we’re not desiring to do, e.g., be unfaithful to our marriage, cheat our employer, lie on our taxes or pursue dishonest gains. Even our faith can dictate what we will not do or participate in. But, what about that part of integrity that calls for what we will do?
Romans chapter twelve gives insight into this issue when it says, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Verse 9) Do you see the two sides? What are you “clinging” to? In other words, if gossip is wrong and not integral, then what should we cling to? We could begin with telling the truth and we could add what we really like about a certain person, an encouragement.
If we are tempted to call a politician derogatory names and slandering them, we could refuse to enter into that side of politics and speak life-giving words instead. The scripture is very clear about this area of integrity. To participate in words of slander is clearly not Biblical or integral, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8) (Please also see Ephesians 4:31; Titus 3:2-5; I Peter 2:1; Jude 1;9,10.)
If stealing is wrong, not integral, we could work hard, earn extra and give more away to others. (See Ephesians 4:28) Integrity is not just connected to what we don’t do, it is as well, connected to what we will do and how we will act toward others.
Embrace integrity today; it’s the only life-building, life-giving way to live on this earth.