“…and if you are pure and live with integrity, he will surely rise up and restore your happy home.” – Job 8:6
“Wow, you are the peacekeeper of the home.”, my mother declared, patting me gently on the back.
For my entire life, I remember being the person that tries to keep the peace. The Switzerland during arguments between friends & family. The middle man. The girl who rode the fence. And I never saw anything wrong with that.
I hated confrontation. I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings or fight with them. Even though I didn’t particularly enjoy being dragged into the messes of others, I welcomed being able to put out the flame. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized that I wasn’t a peacekeeper. I was a liar. And I was a coward.
What I lacked in my life – actually, what I still lack – is integrity; “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”.
“Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys…” -Proverbs 11:3
I was being a “peacekeeper” but that made me a liar. I twisted the truth to make it sting less when talking to friends & family. I made up excuses. I avoided answering questions. It’s really not something I’m proud of.
My husband does not lack integrity. He his the most honest man I have ever met. His “yes” means yes and his “no” means no. He doesn’t lie, even if it means protecting someone’s feelings. He holds what he believes tightly to his chest & his goal is to please God, not man.
We are called to walk & talk like Jesus – both in public and when we are alone.
“Well I’m a moral, truthful person so that must mean I have integrity right?”
See, the biggest problem with cultural integrity is that it’s based off of your personal morals or the common morals of your peers. For the most part, the characteristic stays the same, but over time, some things are “not a big deal” anymore.
- Not keeping every single promise you make. God is a wonderful role model for the art of promises. He always keeps them & will never promise something He can’t keep.
- Not gossiping behind people’s backs. All of us have done this & most of the time, we don’t even catch it. Gossiping has become such an big part of conversations today. It’s hard not to.
- Letting someone take the blame for something you did. I understand this when it’s a serious matter but my brain automatically thought, “Well what about when we make someone else take the blame for our farts?” Haha! When it comes to our Lord, I don’t think He has “except in these cases…”. Murder is wrong. Adultery is wrong. Lying is wrong…even if you lie about your gassy behavior.
“I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.” -1 Chronicles 29:17
Get the idea? Our Savior walked this Earth with great integrity. He answered people honestly, even if the truth stung. He never lied. He did the right thing, even when no one was looking or He knew no one would get into trouble. He was perfect.
Of course, we can’t be perfect like Him & practicing integrity can be hard for some people. I mean, just a few months ago I assumed I was a woman of integrity, but today I’m not so sure.
But that’s okay. I have a Father who forgives & leads and a husband who I can take some pointers from.
Stormie Omartain makes some wonderful points about integrity in her book, The Power of a Praying Wife”. Below is the prayer she included, which we edited for all our female readers:
Prayer: Lord, I pray that You would make me a woman of integrity, according to Your standards. Give me the strength to say “Yes” when I should say “Yes,” and courage to say “No” when I should say “No.” Enable me to stand for what I know is right and not waver under pressure from the world. Don’t let me be a woman who is “always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Give me, instead, a teachable spirit that is willing to listen to the voice of wisdom and grow in Your ways. Make me a woman who lives by truth. Help me to walk with Your Spirit of truth at all times (John 16:13). Be with me to bear witness to the truth so that in times of pressure I will act on it with confidence (1John 1:8,9). Where I have erred in this and other matters, give me a heart that is quick to confess my mistakes. For You have said in Your Word, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (John 1″8,9). Don’t let me be deceived. Don’t let me live a lie in any way. Bind mercy and truth around my neck and write them on the tablet of my heart so I will find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man (Proverbs 3:3,4). AMEN!
“To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity.”
-1 Samuel 22:26