Integrity

The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
— Proverbs 11:1-5

What Matters More to You?

Consider this scenario:

A business owner is presented with the opportunity to expand her business. She’s been struggling to keep the doors open for years, but a situation presented itself that would completely turn things around. The only catch—she’d have to slightly flub a couple of numbers to make the business look a little more successful than it is, and it wouldn’t hurt anyone else at all. What should she do?

I’m not saying this is an uncomplicated situation and that there is a solid, answer without considering the depth of the situation, but it is a question of integrity. You may not relate to this kind of scenario, but I’d venture to guess that you face the opportunity daily to “put on” integrity, so to speak. The question is, “Are you going to allow yourself to value integrity over success?” 

According to these words of wisdom in Proverbs 11, honesty, integrity, humility, and righteousness are all interconnected. I love the way you can see tell where the writer is going with his progression. If we seek personal gain through dishonesty, pride, and unfaithfulness, it will bring nothing but sorrow, but if we practice integrity, things will work out in the end. 

 

Easier Said than Done

It’s easy to take a hypothetical situation and apply these biblical principles to it. The difficulty comes when we’re faced with real decisions. How do I stand on these principles when my needs are real and can be met by straying slightly from what I know to be true and right? 

In the simplest terms, integrity takes practice. Faith takes practice. Sometimes you simply don’t see any benefits to doing what is right (especially when you choose to do what’s right when no one is even watching), but you’ve got to have faith that if God asks for integrity, he’s going to reward it in some way. I wish there was an easier answer, but it seems, in my experience, that things that are worth doing are never simple.

Today, pray that when the situation arises, God grants you the wisdom to choose integrity over personal gain.