Someone once defined integrity as “who you are when no one’s watching.” It means being honest through-and-through even when there’s no one to impress and nothing to gain. Wouldn’t it be great if the world’s population was comprised of men and women of integrity?
Job was such a man. In Job 1 and 2, we read three statements about his character:
- “He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil” (Job 1:1).
- “Then the LORD asked Satan, ‘Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil’” (v. 8).
- “Then the LORD asked Satan, ‘Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you persuaded me to harm him without cause’” (2:3).
As I read these verses, a couple of thoughts came to mind regarding integrity. First, it flows from the fear of God, or having a healthy respect for who He is. For instance, when we truly understand His holiness and the fact that someday we’ll give account to Him, we’ll be motivated to keep our attitudes and actions pure. Second, God values complete integrity. He longs for us to be pure from the inside out – at all times – not just when others are watching us. Third, integrity is consistent even when our circumstances change. Job’s life went from good to ugly in minutes, but he remained blameless on the inside.
Being a person of complete integrity is no easy thing for faulty humans like me. What challenges do we face? Here are a few ideas for starters:
- Maintaining a pure thought life.
- Keeping our tongues gossip-free.
- Thinking loving thoughts about the difficult-to-love.
- Driving the speed limit when we’re running late.
- Keeping the promises we make.
- Returning extra change when a cashier makes a math mistake.
- Watching appropriate television, videos, or internet resources when we’re home alone.
Thankfully, God has given His children the ability to overcome temptation through the Holy Spirit’s power. We don’t have to figure out this issue of integrity on our own strength; He’s there to enable us to be successful.
What challenges to integrity have you faced?