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Monday, May 22, 2023

Six Ways to Work on Having Integrity

In 2 Corinthians 4:2 I read, “We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open.” (MSG)

Integrity demands that every area of my life be treated with the same intensity. I have the same commitment to excellence in my marriage as I do in my career. I have the same commitment to excellence in ministry as I do in my parenting.

Here are six ways I’m learning about what I can do this week to become a person of integrity. I become a person of integrity by:

1. Keeping promises.

People of integrity keep their word. If they say they’ll do it, they do it. If they say they’ll be there, they show up. The Bible says in Proverbs 25:14, “People who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain” (GNT).

2. Paying bills.

Many may not think this is a big deal, but it is to God. Do we spend more money than we make? Do we get ourselves in debt for things that we can’t pay off? These things show a lack of integrity. Psalm 37:21 says, “The wicked borrow and never pay back” (GNT).

3. Refuse to gossip.

God is looking for men and women of integrity who know how to keep a secret and not pass it around on social media. Don’t talk about people behind their back. Don’t even listen to that stuff, because a “gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence” (Proverbs 11:13 MSG).

4. Faithfully tithing.

Wherever we put our money first is what’s most important to us. The Bible says, “Is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. ‘How?’ you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings . . . Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple . . . Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things” (Malachi 3:8, 10 GNT).

5. Doing your best at work.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (NLT). If you’re a Christ follower, your real boss is God, and whether anybody else sees your work, God does.

6. Being real with others.

A person of integrity doesn’t act one way in church and another way at work and another way on the golf course. “We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open” (2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG).

In summary, to avoid being fake and to live with integrity, I need to refuse to wear a mask or play games. I don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. I don't try to twist God's Word to suit myself. Rather I keep everything I do out in the open, my whole trust on display. I let others see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. I'm careful not to distort the message to please or promote my own agenda. I don't pretend, I'm open and I'm authentic. What people see is what they get. I care more about the approval of God than I do the approval of others. When I do, I'll do what's right. If I only care what others think, then I'll often only do what is wrong. To obey God's Word, I need to know what it says. I need to continue to get into it daily. It provides me with the strength and stamina to be real and honest with those around me. God created me to be me. So I need to trust him and be authentic.