2020 will forever be labeled as “the year of the pandemic.” Since it is also an election year, we hope and pray that our elected leaders will place high priority on standards of public health for the safety and benefit of our local communities.
As a patriotic, history-loving American, I dream of a presidential candidate arising who is a person of integrity—someone who can be trusted to think clearly and speak truthfully, who will be a national model of honor and courage…a true hero. I’m not looking for a person who will never make a mistake because no one is perfect. Just a person who will consistently behave with respect and integrity.
Doing the right thing
Whether in politics, business, education or religion, we all want leaders who will do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons. We want to trust our leaders to consistently take actions that are based on solid values, principles and methods. We hope for measures and outcomes that are sensible and reliable.
The Integrity Society promotes the following motto: “Ethics are what you think; virtues are what you do; integrity is who you are.”
Who are you?
Perhaps the dearth of integrity in our post-modern society is a reflection of our identity crisis. Many people are still searching for a personal code of morals and ethics. And since integrity has to do with the maintenance of our identities, if we don’t know who we are it’s impossible to act consistently.
I’m struck by the profoundness of Harvey Mackay’s words:
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you
don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
Is there hope?
How can we encourage the development and practice of integrity? Are there certain habits we can encourage and reward? How do we hold ourselves accountable for living daily with integrity?
In his book Rise and Shine Charles Swindoll says, “More often than not it is in the quiet, unnoticed, unapplauded realms of life that one demonstrates integrity—within the walls of one’s own home—in the secret chambers of one’s own heart” (p 194).
Integrity always starts in the home, because that is where character is formed. From the earliest dawning of intelligence, children can be taught to be truthful. They can learn to be honest.
The words of scripture shine with the hope of these eternal realities:
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you.