I found myself lacking Integrity. Not like the IRS when they pick on people for political reasons. Not like big Wall Street guys who’ve cheat little old ladies out of their life savings. Not like some college kid who plagiarized his term paper.
No. Me? I found myself divided and without internal consistency; and this is a lack of Integrity. Integrity is:
- The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness (honor, righteousness).
- The state of being whole and undivided;
- The state of being unified, unimpaired or sound in construction (stable);
- Having internal consistency or lack of corruption.
Yes, Integrity is about being honest and doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I do that. I return found money. I keep my commitments. I am truthful. I am faithful. I am loyal. I stand up for what’s right, even if it gets uncomfortable.
But it goes deeper that that. At its core, Integrity is about doing what God made us to do, and He made us to be like Him. Sometimes we are at odds with our Maker and we don’t even realize it.
God made the bee to buzz, and it obeys. God made trees to grow toward the sky, and they obey. God made the tides to rise and fall, and they obey. God made the Earth to rotate on its axis, and it obeys. God made our hearts to know Him, seek Him, love Him, honor Him, and also to imitate Him…but do we obey?
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
I found myself lacking Integrity because I was lacking in Love.
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Here is what a lack of Love sounds like:
- “You are getting on my nerves!”…but Love is not irritable (1 Cor 13:4).
- “You do that every time” OR “You always <insert personal grievance here>” but Love is not resentful/keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:4).
- “You can’t tell me what to do” OR “Why won’t you just do it my way?” OR “This is the way we always do it”…but Love does not insist on its own way (1 Cor 13:5).
- “I can’t take this, it’s just not fair”…but Love bears all things (1 Cor 13:7).
If we love God, we obey Him. If we obey Him, we will love others. We have no Integrity (righteousness) if we do not obey Him. And if we do not have righteousness (rightness with God), we do not feel held together, or whole, or stable. We lack internal consistency if we are not consistent with God, and we are corrupted when we choose our will over His (technically this is Sin).
Still here was my struggle: What do you do when you’re all out of love? [Besides singing Air Supply songs…] I have always wanted to be loved. But what I didn’t know that I was made for loving. [OK, that’s almost a KISS song…starting to show my age here.]
I’d like to take a closer look at Love in the next few posts. For today, tell me, do you ever struggle to love? Is it just me, or do people really get under your skin sometimes? Do you react in anger when wronged, or build a strong wall around your heart, so other people won’t hurt you?