March 3

Written by Bill Grandi on March 3rd, 2020

If I were to ask a question I have on my mind this morning, I’m guessing I would have as many answers as there are people asked. Here’s the question:

What is the one thing every human being needs?

I can hear the obvious answers: Air. Food. Water.

I can hear another set of answers: Love. Compassion. Joy. Peace.

I can hear more answers: Grace. Understanding. Wisdom.

And the list goes on.  And you can see why I say there are as many different answers as there are people.  But the answer I’m looking for is still not there.  And, to be honest (and fair), I asked that question as broadly and as vaguely as I could. So…

My answer?


Without it a man is nothing. Not worthless because no one is worthless. No one is a loser. But without integrity a man cannot be trusted.  He has no credibility.  He has no foundation. He is shifty. If I meet someone with no integrity, I feel like I ought to be looking over my shoulder for the knife in my back.

Proverbs is chock full of references to integrity. In chapter 2 it says God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding are a shield to those who walk in integrity.  (Verses 6-7).  When those three qualities from God are evident in our lives, a person cannot help but ooze integrity. I read a quote recently that struck my funny bone. It is from Mark Twain:

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Do you remember a few years ago when a high school football coach turned in his won-the-state-championship team because he found out one of his players was ineligible? They lost the trophy; the accolades; the distinction of having won the state title, but THEY. GAINED. INTEGRITY. He showed his players and everyone else some things are more important than others and should never be compromised.

“Father, help me not to care for fame and fortune over integrity. Some things cannot be bought or sold. Integrity is one of them. May I live a life of integrity.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Wow! Wow! YES! And for your continued Wisdom, what is your definition of integrity, Bill?

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Diane: integrity is often substituted with honesty. But I would take it a bit further and borrow someone’s definition: integrity is who you are when no one’s looking. My explanation would be when the light is off, am I the same person in the dark. Am I the same person at home or at the Y or in my office as I am in the pulpit? Integrity says, no demands, I answer Yes to that. Does that help?

  2. Yes, Bill. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Happy to know we are.

  3. I have to agree, Bill, that integrity tops the list. I love that quote by Mark Twain, too – says it loud and clear.

  4. Ryan S says:

    I can’t say that I am perfect.
    I can’t say that I my public persona and private persona are always in line. I do strive to keep them as close as possible. Where I fail, I ask forgiveness and receive grace.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I can’t say they are always in sync either Ryan. But, as you state, I strive for that.