It is imperative that we stand with integrity. The enemy and the world would have us to believe we can be halfhearted and not fully committed to integrity and it will be ok in the end because they will say it does not matter. But we are told to be like God and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is One with Himself and we are called to be one person at all times. We are to be followers of Christ, people of integrity every day of the week and in every circumstance. We are to be people of integrity, to be the same today when things are going well and the same tomorrow when the bottom falls out of our lives. We must hold fast to same level of integrity, being the same whole, one person at all times. We are not multiple personalities, not knowing what person and attitude will show up. We are call to holy and holiness is being the same person at all times just as God is the same, He does not change and we should not either.
Integrity is the covenant we make with ourselves and God to commit to live to His standard of ethical behavior and conduct, especially when life comes to test our convictions. Everyone will be tested or tempted to take the easy way out and the results will be measured according to our integrity. The testing of a metal is important in finding the weak areas or where it may crack or fail. Our areas of strength or weakness are found when the test of life comes and the pressures of life are applied and our true self is revealed.
Holy comes from a Hebrew word, qadash, the root meaning clean, to dedicate, or to set-apart, or being whole. This is who God wants us to be when we are with our friends or family dedicated to being the same person at all time, being whole and not split into several personalities depending on who we are around. We are to be the same person on the job as we are at church or in the community. So many of us have multiple personalities living in one body and it is difficult for others to know who the real person is. Many of us have different personas that we display depending who we are interacting with. People may not know which personality will show up on any given day or which persona they will be talking to. It is important to remember that we are called to be one person at all times.
It has been drilled into our minds that holiness is associated with our appetites, cravings or desires. But holiness is a commitment to live as one person at all times and live an informed life and not be ignorant of God’s word. The truth we know and accept can change the way we think about ourselves and others. If we are one with ourselves and know who we truly are, we will worship and be committed to our Sovereign King. We are foreigners living in a strange and different country and culture and God has called us to represent Him. We will find ourselves in some major battle and we are to be prepared to stand and not let our appetites or the world’s opinions rule over us.
Hebrew 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever NKJV
1 Peter 1: 14-17 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. NIV
When we know in our hearts and minds that we were created for greatness in the image and the likeness of God, the enemy and the world cannot have us trick us with their lies. We can only stand by knowing what the word of God says about who we are and how God loves us. It is our knowledge of God’s truth that will keep us from destruction. It is our commitment and integrity to God’s word that propels us to success. It is not just intellectual knowledge but it is the truth that we commit to and do that sets us free.
Our commitment to integrity is what will keep us from being swayed by wrong motives, society, family or friends. It is our commitment and the decision we make when we are alone with ourselves to live by integrity that will give us the strength to stand when the waves of life come crashing in on us. Many of us think we will be ready when the storm hits, and we will be able to just say no to life’s pressures. But they will find that they were not prepared to stand the test because they were without the truth of God’s word nor had they committed to the integrity of God’s way. That is why so many people fall to the ways of the world when they are under pressure. When the flesh is fighting for its life that is not the time to stop and try to figure out what God said or try to make a decision on the spot. Military personnel know they cannot do strategic battle planning in the middle of the fight. Those decisions must be made before they are in the battle and then their actions are automatic based on the planning and training beforehand. We too must know the battle plan before the battle.
Again, a covenant to God and commitment to ourselves is made in the quietness of our heart, and then we make a choice to stand for integrity. It is in the quiet times we will make a decision to stand for truth while we take into consideration the cost and the repercussions that will follow our decision not go along with the world’s way. It is at this time we make peace with ourselves and commit to God’s love and then we are able to stand against the pressures of the world and are able to fulfill our purpose. Knowing Who God is, His love for us and His purpose for our lives will give us the will and the strength to hold on to our integrity.
Integrity is to have a steady devotion and allegiance to act and adhere to just and ethical principles of God and to have the soundness of moral character to be honest in every situation. Only the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is more important as Christ followers and eternity than our commitment to integrity.
John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” NIV
Psalms 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You NKJV
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. NKJV
Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. NKJV
Our integrity is the most valuable asset we have, beside the Holy Spirit living in us, and is a primary weapon against the enemy and against self-destruction. Integrity is our steady allegiance to God’s principles which aid to our success and to the success of our children. The right and ethical conduct according to God is found in the word of God, the Bible. It is virtually impossible to stand committed to integrity under presser apart from the commitment to God’s truth and knowing His word by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Most people are committed to doing the right thing and they will try as long as things are going well. But when life brings chaos and shortages the nature of man will return to the fallen state of survival and self-preservation. Integrity is an individual choice to trust God in all things for our provision, health and even our life. No one can give us integrity and no one can take away our integrity it is a personal commitment. Our integrity is linked with our God given will, which is our ability to choose to live by a standard of conduct and principles outlined by the God our Creator to ensure our good success in this life and life eternal.
Our integrity is what allows us to be one with ourselves, that is to say we are one person all the times. Whether we are alone with no one looking or if we are before thousands of people, we are the same person at all the times. God calls this Holy, to have the character of God, to be the same yesterday, today and forever no matter the situation.
Our integrity is our contract or our pledge we make to ourselves and God to uphold His word and to trust God to be with us in the challenges of this world and to help us stand against the cravings of this world and the flesh. We all live in this fallen world and fallen humanity with the pride of mankind railing against the word of God with passions of the flesh if left unbridled would send us all into a vortex of corruption and decadence. It is our integrity that holds us to a commitment of control and restraint and it is because of the decision we made before we entered the battle that sustains us.
Remember, it is our integrity that brings glory to God, which is why the trails of life comes to test us and to see if we are really committed to the truth, we say we know and have. The world knows how it will respond in difficult times and expect Christ followers to do the same. We have seen it all too often in a time of crisis people lose their concern and compassion for others and become self-centered and self-absorbed. To see someone committed to their word and hold to their integrity even at a cost to them, is an example to the world the love of God and the power of God to uphold and keep His people.
God will be praised when we are able to stand against the chaos and pressures of life and for our ability to live integrity which come from our God.