A popular truism today is that there are no shortcuts to success. The point is that life is full of shortcuts to get ahead quickly, but without integrity and sticking to a code, you will not succeed. Integrity can be defined as an adherence to one’s moral or ethical code, regardless of how difficult that choice may be and regardless of who may be watching. It is a virtue summed up in how we live life.
The Bible holds up integrity as a key virtue in the Christian life. Proverbs is full of reminders that integrity is necessary to walk righteously in God’s sight (Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 13:6). In the New Testament, Paul commands Titus to show integrity in his teaching (Titus 2:7). So why does the Bible put such an emphasis on living with integrity? Couldn’t we do more and enjoy the same blessings by taking the quick and expedient choice rather than worrying about integrity? In short, no! Integrity is essential to the Christian life and walk for at least three key reasons:
1. Integrity Reflects God’s Character
First, God is a God of integrity. When He makes a promise, He always keeps it. Both the Old and New Testaments point out God’s continuing faithfulness to His word. Deuteronomy declares, “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His faithfulness to a thousand generations for those who love Him and keep His commandments,” (Deuteronomy 7:9). God does not lie or go back on His word even when we are unfaithful and lack integrity (Romans 3:3-4 cf. 2 Timothy 2:13). So why should we be people of integrity? The reason for this is simple: it is because integrity is part of how we reflect God to the world.
2. Integrity Enables Us to Love
Second, integrity is necessary to accomplish the greatest commandment: to love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37). It is hard to demonstrate love when you lack integrity. If people cannot trust you or take you at your word, how are they to trust that you are loving them as yourself? Every action becomes suspect; acts of love take on the guise of manipulation. To truly love God and love your neighbor in meaningful ways, you have to have integrity. Lacking that, your words will appear as so much hot air.
3. Integrity Enables Us to Teach
Lastly, integrity allows us to teach, lead and train others. Part of the Christian life is to help others grow and develop in their walk with the Lord, to share the knowledge of Him. Have you ever tried to learn from someone you cannot trust, though? It doesn’t work. Like the boy who cried wolf, a person without integrity is often tuned out and ignored. It does not matter how persuasive and convincing your ideas are, or how helpful your instructions may be, people who are not listening to you cannot be changed by you. If you want to change the world and be ready to share about the hope that is in you, you must act with integrity.
Integrity may not always offer the quickest path to fame or riches, but it offers the path that leads to blessings, not just for you, but for those around you too. The blessing of being a person of integrity is the blessing of being the person you were created to be, being the person God wants you to be and being the person the world needs you to be.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.