THE EVER VALUABLE … INTEGRITY


Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. It seems like an arduous task to be a person of integrity. But if you plan to live a worthy life, the character will serve you well.

 

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This is what the legendary Coach Wooden had to say about integrity:

“Integrity in its simplest form is purity of intention. It’s keeping a clean conscience. But it is also a composite of some of the other mortar qualities in the pyramid. To some extent, integrity contains a bit of reliability, a healthy helping of honesty and a portion of sincerity. However, I believe that the component of purity of intention is important enough to give integrity the status of mortar in its own right….., Purity of intention is really a reflection of the heart, and having a pure heart is so important that I placed it near the top of the pyramid, just under patience. The heart of a person with integrity always wants to do what’s right, once he or she is sure what ‘right’ is.”

 

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Integrity – that comes from the word; integer, which indicates, completeness, wholeness. It is that solid rock character that the Greek compare to a substance carved out of granite. It is one of those things that makes God, God. His integrity stands forever. It is one thing that God’s people have to guard with all our might and spirit. Integrity makes you dependable, trustworthy, and a person of value. All in all, it makes you predictable.

The other factor is that integrity is that which is powered by the spirit of God. God enables you to be a person of integrity. Because there are situations in your life that will overwhelm you and, really confusion sets in. But that is when you need the grace of God. Having said that, you have your part to play in keeping the Word of God. You have to take responsibility and do your part.

People of integrity are a rare specie these days. In fact, they are going extinct. Be one. Be an example.

Integrity has a high consequence attached to it. You’ll be stigmatised because you stand for the truth. Men will jeer at you. You’ll be called all sort of names but know that you are doing it for the benefit of humanity and the glory of God. The very people that make a mockery of you know that you have something they think it’s impossible to have or something that is not profitable. But I tell you, that’s a lie. Have you ever wondered why “they” that feel you are not a “sharp wo/man” always want you to be the treasurer or financial secretary? It’s because they know that with you, their belongings are safe.

 

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Some years ago, I was casually reading Oral Robert’s autobiography “Expect A Miracle, My life and Ministry”. I got to this chapter and … light, a million rays of light focused on me at the same time, and my attention was awakened. It’s a story worth telling. Oral Robert recounts about going to see a member of the church he pastored. On trying to park in front of his house, he dented his neighbour’s car. The first impulse was: “The owner of this car will never know you did this. Don’t say anything about it”.

Against that impulse, he went to the man and told him what happened. Even though he was low on money (living on $55 a week salary with a wife and child to support), he promised to pick the expense of the repairs. The neighbour, who introduced himself as Mr Gustavus, told him not to bother about it and even thanked him for reporting the case. Oral was amazed!!!!

Oral said that one afternoon while he was mowing his lawn, Mr Gustavus dragged him into a conversation. Then the latter noticed that Oral’s car was a weather-beaten, old car. He invited Oral to his office. What happened next shocked Oral. Mr Gustavus was a car dealer and offered Oral a deal. He said, “Young man, I am not a member of your church, I am not even a Christian, but something tells me you are about to do something unusual in this world”. He went on “What you are going to do is too big for this town. It will take you to the world”.

At the end of the day, Gustavus took Oral’s old car sold it, added money to what he realised and bought him a new car. (Oral, light-heartedly, said that that was one of those days his wife was convinced of his call into ministry).

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters — Harvey Mackay.

I have less to say. This story says it all. The truth is, most times, you get punished for owning up. You pay for damages. Yes, that’s it. But never you regret it. Why? It’s God that rewards integrity. Take it as a labour of love. The other truth is that Jehovah sees. Don’t try to outsmart God.

Proverbs 21:30 in the Berean Study Bible Edition says: “There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel that can prevail against the LORD”. Another translation says: No counsel nor wisdom can work against God. No sweeter words could be said.

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