Work Matters: Integrity

The Birch Trees.Emery House

For the first time in about three decades I can actually say we now have access to excellent service professionals that are truly dependable. It’s so nice to know that on the other end of the phone are a plumber, electrician, builder, auto mechanic, painter, and/or lawn care specialist who all have one important characteristic in common: integrity. What a comfort and peace of mind to know that there are professional vendors out there who keep their word, follow through with excellence, and stand by their work to their customer’s complete satisfaction.

It hasn’t always been the case for us. We’ve had our share of being ripped off by those who said one thing and did another. Can you relate?

Integrity is the quality of being honest, with strong moral principles; having moral uprightness. It also means being a person who is whole and undivided…in other words, a person who’s life is integrated in a healthy, holistic way. A person of integrity is a person who lives consistent with the words and emotions they express. And, when one’s character is matched with one’s competency, a person of integrity ensures that words spoken are lived out in attitudes and actions consistent with one’s message.

A great football player who is a murderer off season struggles with integrity. An elementary school teacher who has child pornography on his computer struggles with integrity. A church leader who is engaged in illegal or immoral practices at work struggles with integrity. A Christian businessman who speaks on various workplace topics and is having an extra-marital affair struggles with integrity. You might be wrestling with integrity if your life as a believer isn’t evidenced in your daily relationships and responsibilities.

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…and intergrity is taking it. And, as C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing…even when no one is watching.”

Where does integrity come from? It’s evidence of a life of whole-hearted devotion to God. There’s nothing half-hearted about integrity; you either have it or lack it. Nehemiah was known as a man of integrity, as was Job, David, and Isaiah. Each faced their share of hardship and suffering; and all of them were known by others with whom they interacted as men of integrity. Isn’t that what you want said of your work, relationships, and daily life?

Consider the following texts as spiritual guides to a life of integrity. Meditate on these Scriptures as you consider areas of your life that lack the integrity you desire. “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” (Psalm 25:21) “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9) “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.” (Titus 2:7)

Lord, I appeal to you in behalf of my brothers and sisters who today are in their respective workplaces seeking to live godly lives filled with integrity. May the words they speak out and the lives they live out be consistent with their heart for God and their service to others. May the glory of the Lord be evidenced today through the work of their hands and the prayers of their hearts. All for your Kingdom invitation to integrity and for your namesake, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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