On Integrity

A few years ago I was thinking about integrity. Integrity is a concept that people talk much about but don’t really live out. I’m often surprised by the lack of integrity most people have.

Some say that integrity is understood to be “what you do when nobody’s looking.” Still others define it as “standing by your word.” I think that both of those ideas are pieces to the puzzle but they aren’t the whole story.

I am finding that true integrity is found in people whose lives are not disintegrated.

What do I mean by disintegrated? What I mean is that the person with integrity is one who has a life that is consistent across all the spheres within which they live. That is, the Facebook version is the same as the Office version is the same as the Family version is the same as the Church version is the same as the Bar version is the same as the…

You get the idea.

A person with integrity is the same wherever they are. Their is fully integrated. For good or ill. I think one of the highest compliments you can give a person is that they live with integrity. That their life is consistent.

Even if you disagree with the way they live their life.

Recently, I have had some conversations with other church leaders and I have discovered that they play a lot of politics. I have also interacted with them socially and the experience was night and day. I’m not saying that they have done anything unethical or morally corrupt, just that they have little integrity. Their lives are disintegrated.

The social version is very different from the office version. That is disintegration, that is lack of integrity.

The person of integrity is the same wherever they are. The disintegrated person changes like the chameleon. This isn’t a moral or ethical failing, it simply removes trust.

You can’t trust someone who lives without integrity (disintegrated).

You can’t trust them because you never know where you stand.

When I look at my closest friends, I’m thankful. I’m thankful because they are all people of integrity. We don’t always agree on everything. We fight. But you always know where you stand.

Take some inventory over the next 40 days. Ask those closest to you if your life is integrated or disintegrated. Because if you’re like me then you want to live a life of integrity. But sometimes we miss it without intending to.