Integrity is being honest and choosing to do the right thing because it is the right thing, and not bending beneath pressures. One of the best examples of integrity is Joseph. As a youth, he was exposed to fierce temptations, but his character was unwavering in making the right choices. He was firm where many young people would give in, true where they would be false, and strong where they would be weak.
While Joseph was a slave in Egypt, he faced a big dilemma. He could go to jail for refusing to cheat and lie to his master, or he could decide to cheat and lie to his master and nothing bad would happen. Joseph decided he would follow God and do the right thing regardless of the consequences. Joseph had integrity.
Remembering that God sees what's in our hearts helps us to have integrity. The Apostle Paul gave a good example of integrity when he said, "So you can see that we were not preaching with any false motives or evil purposes in mind; we were perfectly straightforward and sincere" (1 Thessalonians 2:3, TLB). He also wrote, "For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men” (2 Corinthians 8:21, NIV).
Integrity is being sincere and truthful. "You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom"(Psalm 51:6, TLB).
How important is honesty? God thought it was so important that He emphasized it twice in the Ten Commandments. "You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:15-16, NIV). King Solomon wrote, “The Lord hates cheating and delights in honesty" (Proverbs 11:1, TLB).
Doing what is right will bring me happiness. "Lies will get any man into trouble, but honesty is its own defense. Telling the truth gives a man great satisfaction, and hard work returns many blessings to him" (Proverbs 12:13-14, TLB).
Is there more to integrity than honesty? Yes! It’s in the Bible, “He has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, and just and merciful, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 TLB). A person with integrity will be dependable, trustworthy and reliable. They will be pure and make a habit of doing the right thing. So you can see that integrity is a general word that covers many fine traits of character.
I don’t think I can be that good. How can I develop integrity? It’s not a character trait that comes natural. Remember that every good thing comes from God. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, (Jesus) to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on His name” (John 1:12, NKJ).
It is only when Jesus lives within us that true integrity is developed. When we give our hearts and lives to Jesus we take on a new life. The Bible describes it as being born again. Jesus told Nicodemus that “Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3, TLB). Nicodemus was confused, so Jesus went on to explain, “What I am telling you so earnestly is this. Unless one is born of water (baptism) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven” (John 3:5, 6, TLB). The Holy Spirit is ready to give you that new life now. It’s as simple as asking Jesus into your heart. Won’t you do it now?