Integrity

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September 5

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

There is one word-in leadership and in life-that never has and never will go out of style.

That one word? I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.

Integrity has been defined as “who you are when no one’s looking.” That is a pretty spot on definition but in some ways it is almost incomplete.¬† I get what the definition is saying. Many people are one way in public and another in private. The “up front” persona picture people see is no where near the “in secret” persona. I’ll let you pursue that thought on your own.

But I also think that saying might be a tad bit short on meaning. Being who we are behind the scenes as we are up front is vital. But…what do people see up front? It is someone worth emulating? Is it someone worth following?

I was reminded of that this morning as I read Titus 2:7-8- “Show yourself in all respects¬† to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Do you see the word “model?” Do you see the words “integrity, dignity, and sound speech?” Those are some serious words! And they come with some meaning and challenge. My translation of that verse is “Live in such a way that when someone says something bad about you people will know they are lying.”

I thought of the Apostle Peter’s words in I Peter 3:16-17- “Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”

Integrity means being who we say we are-in private and in public.

February 13

Monday, February 13th, 2023

Have you ever read the story of Esther? If you have you know there are some major players in the book: Esther (obviously); Mordecai (her cousin); Ahasuerus (the King); and Haman (the protagonist and anti-Semite). In all the people in the story, there is one who gets left out in the shuffle.

Her name is Vashti. Queen Vashti. The queen who place Esther takes.

Her story is worth mentioning. In chapter one, the king throws a huge shindig. But not just a party, a seven day hoedown. Trust me when I say there was lots of drinking. But lots of that led the king to want to make a spectacle of his Queen (v.11). But Vashti refused to be a piece of meat for the king and his lackeys. At her refusal, the king not only got angry, he became vindictive. After all, according to his “friends and advisers” her refusal would set a bad precedent for the other women to follow (v.17). So he banished Vashti from her being queen and from his presence.¬† Queen Vashti lost everything…or did she?

She lost everything except her self-respect.

She teaches us there are some things more important than fame, fortune, and status. What good are any of those without self-respect and integrity? I realize the world has other ideas., but I’d rather know who I am and be able to look in the mirror and be proud of the reflection, than to know I compromised my soul, my family, my health, my integrity, but most importantly, my God, to get something illicitly.

Are you able to look into a mirror and be happy with the inner reflection? And while you are introspecting, do you view others with respect, especially those who have made the tough decision not to compromise?