The meaning of the Hebrew word “integrity” is “complete” or “whole.” Let us take an integrity test. Have you ever:
- cheated on an exam?
- watched a dirty movie alone in your hotel room?
- hidden income from the IRS or fabricated phony deductions?
- exaggerated a claim from your insurance company?
- promised to take your kids out for ice cream and didn’t?
- promised to give to God’s work but didn’t?
- promised to pray for someone but didn’t?
Why is integrity so important; because there is never a time when no one is watching. Even if no one else knows, God knows. No matter how we may try to excuse our actions, it is never right to do wrong. We cannot get away with sin. Numbers 32:23 reminds us that when we “have sinned against the LORD [to] be sure your sin will find you out.” Jesus is the model of integrity. Living in integrity truly means following Jesus’ example in every area of life.
In ancient China, the people desired security from the barbaric hordes to the north; so they built the great Chinese wall. It was so high they knew no one could climb over it and so thick that nothing could break it down. They settled back to enjoy their security. During the first hundred years of the wall’s existence, China was invaded three times. Not once did the barbaric hordes break down the wall or climb over the top. Each time they bribed a gatekeeper and then marched right through the gates. The Chinese were so busy relying upon the walls of stone that they forgot to teach integrity to their children. Let’s spend several days examining our integrity.