Monday, August 17, 2009

Integrity


“Uprightness of character; honesty; the condition, quality, or state of being complete or undivided.”-Webster’s Dictionary 1999

In his book “To Own a Dragon”, Donald Miller shares a chapter on integrity. He talks about taking his broken cell phone to the Sprint store and their computer systems were down and they didn’t know whether His phone was still under warranty, it wasn’t, but he told them it was and he got a new cell phone. He told a friend about it who shared with him a story from the movie “Family Man” where Nicolas Cage’s character goes into a convenient store and Don Cheadle plays a guy working at the counter. A girl is buying something for ninety-nine cents in the line in front of Nicolas and gives a dollar to the clerk, but He gives her back $9 like she had given her a $10 instead of a $1. The girls knows she got too much change back, but doesn’t say anything. Don Cheadle gives her a chance to give it back, but she doesn’t say anything and walks out with the extra money. Don’s character looks at Nicolas’ character and says “Did you see that? She was willing to sell her character for $9. $9! Donald Miller goes on to say in his book how he went back to the Sprint store and paid for his new phone and it cost him more than $9, but he got his character back.

Integrity works that way. It’s the part of our character that isn’t willing to compromise. It’s a quality that makes us honest, complete, and undivided when it comes to truth.

We can lose our 401K, our house, our bank account, everything we own in a house fire, but integrity is something no one can take from us, we have to give it away. And we give away our integrity for some really stupid reasons. Usually because of pride, selfishness, greed, or revenge.

Proverbs 11:3
says “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.(NIV) We can be guided by our integrity that comes from our faith in God, or we can be destroyed by our duplicity that divides our character and leads us astray by the evil forces of our sinful nature and the devil. The Devil will corrupt our thoughts, minds, and hearts to convince us that compromising our integrity is ok, or not a big deal, or we deserve it. But really we are trying to live a double-life, live divided, and our duplicity will eventually catch up with us and could destroy our character, our relationships, our trust, our careers, our marriages, our faith, or our lives.

Cherish your integrity. I have compromised mine in the past and it takes a lot longer time to rebuild your character than it does to destroy it. I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. That you can think you’re getting away with it, no one will know, or you are not hurting anyone, but they are all the lies of sin. If anything compromises your integrity it is ALWAYS wrong. Always!

Integrity, honesty, trust, dependable, consistent, trustworthy, loyalty, and faithful these are qualities that God desires. We give up our integrity we lose all these things and more. Integrity keep it!

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