Integrity is a hot issue today. In a society where people feel like they can’t trust anyone anymore, integrity is a big deal. It’s a big deal for the businessman who is looking for employees he can trust. It’s a big deal for the church that is looking for godly leaders they can follow. And it’s a big deal to a generation of young people who need some role models they can follow without winding up in the ditch.
When we talk about integrity, we are talking about a person’s trustworthiness. The word integrity means to be “complete” or “whole.” It means that what you say and what you mean are” “the same thing. It means that when you make a promise, you intend to keep it. It means that when you say you will do something, that is exactly what you plan to do. “Now, one reason integrity is at such a premium in our culture is that it’s so easy to excuse our lack of it. On some of the issues we are dealing with in this book, you are more or less alone if you try to excuse yourself.
But when it comes to compromising integrity, you will have no lack of company. When you hear someone say, “Everybody’s doing it,” you know that’s not too far from the literal truth.
Another reason integrity is hard to find these days is that it can be compromised in so many different ways, large and small. We can compromise it by lying, saying something we know isn’t the truth; by lusting, inappropriate relationships with the opposite” “sex; by loitering, hanging out with the wrong crowd; and by looting, taking something that is not ours.
All of us know what it is like to talk one way and act another. All of us know what it feels like to appear to be a man of integrity, yet to have things in our lives that don’t add up. “Now, I am sure there is not one man reading this who has not compromised his integrity on at least one occasion. It may have been at a newsstand or the gift shop at the airport, when you looked around and made sure no one was watching before you picked up that magazine. You may even have tried to spiritualize it by telling yourself you were just keeping up with the trends of the day in Playboy or Penthouse. But the fact that you had to look around first says something.
It’s also possible to compromise your integrity in your hotel room by watching a movie you know you should not be watching. The temptation is especially strong if the movie is free or if no one knows what will show up on your hotel bill.
Or it may not be anything you are doing. It may all be in your mind, but it’s still an issue of integrity because integrity has to do with more than just your outward behavior.
When we talk about integrity, we are not talking about your reputation. Your reputation is what other folks think of you. Integrity goes beyond” “that, to what you are really like on the inside. It has to do with your character.”

vision, purpose, destiny,



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