Monday, January 20, 2014

Stepping Up With Integrity

The dictionary defines Integrity as..a noun
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.(www.dictionary.com)
- See more at: http://www.positive-deviant.com/definition-of-integrity.html#sthash.Oi6RVnqk.dpuf
The dictionary defines Integrity as..a noun
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.(www.dictionary.com)
- See more at: http://www.positive-deviant.com/definition-of-integrity.html#sthash.Oi6RVnqk.dpuf

The dictionary defines integrity as a noun: 1. adherence to moral and ethical principals; soundness of moral character; honesty 2. the state of being whole, entire or undiminished: to preserve the empire. a sound unimpaired, or perfect condition, the integrity of a ship's hull.  www.dictionary.com

Integrity is a word that is not used much in today’s English. One definition I like is this...
 “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity”[1

So we can say that a good synonym for integrity is honesty.
As we stroll through life we have things happen to us daily and how we respond to them without taking the time to mull them over is pretty darned important. As I researched the term integrity I came across this little story, most appropriately called Poor Aim...enjoy!
 
I like to walk in the early morning with my dog. One glorious Saturday morning I was enjoying the quiet and the beautiful weather and loving life while my dog Jett and I made our rounds.
At one home I passed, I noticed a newspaper that was lying near the curb instead of near the doorstep. Thinking I would make someone else's life a little easier I picked up the paper and gently tossed it towards their door. My aim was way off and instead of landing on the doorstep the paper sailed in the opposite direction and landed on the roof of a travel trailer in the driveway. No one saw it but me and I burst out laughing before I realized how I had just complicated the problem.
It was too early to knock on the door and tell the homeowner where their paper was. So, instead I walked home, changed clothes and went to the grocery store to make it right.
I returned a little later with a new newspaper a basket of fresh strawberries and shortcake and found the homeowner in the driveway working on his vehicle with some friends. With a deep breath I approached and said, “I hope you have a great sense of humor”.
Fortunately they did and I couldn’t help but smile all day. I’ve heard it said, “Character is what you do when no one is looking”. 
Character feels good!

 An important part of having integrity is developing critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking is defined as follows:  
the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion

 What it boils down to is 'think for yourself'. Do and say what you believe is right, even if down the road you are moved to change your mind. Thinking for ourselves is something that we all have problems doing from time to time because we become caught up in thoughts like "will people dislike me if I have an opinion that is different than theirs?" or "everyone thinks this or that so they must be right." When we believe either of these things we are not using critical thinking skill at all. 

What does the Bible say about having integrity?

Proverbs 28:6 (ESV)  Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity  than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

Titus 2:7-8 (ESV)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.

 In Paul's letter to Timothy {in 2 Tim 1:7} he reminds Timothy {and us} to be courageous and compelled by God's love to share our spiritual gifts - whether it be serving, teaching, giving, encouraging, leading, praying, etc.

So, today when God nudges you to be who He created you to be  don't let fear hold you back. Instead remember this truth and tap into the power of the spirit He has  given you - one of power, love and self-discipline.