What is "Integrity?" Some say that it's, "Who you are when no one is looking." Others say it's "Being true to who you are." Another way
integrity has been defined is,
"A concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, and principles, expectations and outcomes. It can be regarded as
the opposite of hypocrisy."
The problem, I humbly present to you, is that we no longer have a socially defined concept of "actions, values, methods, measures, and principles, expectations, and outcomes." I can have integrity if I do what ever I want, as long as I stay true to myself, even if it's not what YOU want.
Integrity is not being taught in school, is not displayed in marriages, families lack it, and politicians excuse it away completely. Integrity is demanded from others, and yet so few people today understand the concepts behind the word, and even fewer embrace it as a part of who they are. In other words, having integrity can be messy, it can be down-right gritty!
Zig Ziglar said,
"With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.
With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.
With fear and guilt removed you are free to be and do your best."
Let's look at Integrity as defined a little more closely and with a skeptics eye. If I watch pornography, have an open marriage, smoke marijuana, get drunk and use drugs, curse, hit, murder, lie, cheat, and steal from others, in front of my wife and children, in front of my employer, with my peers and coworkers, on social media, and I have no fear, guilt, or shame in doing so, am I displaying INTEGRITY? Is me being openly "me" the new measurement of Integrity?
This is exactly what I think is going wrong in society. There are no more "societal norms," no standards for what is right or wrong and consequences have become the problem. Our legal courts constantly lower the consequences for bad behavior (look at the early release programs and lowering of consequences for "minor" infractions), and integrity becomes an attitude and not a measurement for acceptable behavior. As long as I don't tell you what I believe or the rules I live by, I am free to change my mind as quickly as the wind changes. I can tell you anything, and if you believe me, I can alter that perspective at anytime if it serves my purpose. If I tell you I am honest and you learn I'm not, I'm not the problem, YOU are. You're expectations of me are unrealistic and I can walk away feeling I have maintained my integrity as long as I have a "F-YOU" attitude and see you as the problem.
Unfortunately, this will only work for so long. At some point things will unravel and fall apart (and we are witnessing that happening currently). There is no safety in living in this type of society. People are free to use and abuse others and there are no consequences. The removal of what is "right" has been lost in the ambiguous "rights" of each individual. One thing that keeps us apart is the fact that there is no good "consistency of actions," as we accept the evil as good, the increase of hate crimes will continue, people will continue to riot in the streets, and murder will further erupt on the innocent.
The Bible foretells of what we are experiencing today,
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child;
children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death."
When will we as a Nation agree again? How can we come together when we are torn apart? It starts with you. It requires each of us to stand firm on God's principles, which are all written down for us to learn about in the Bible. With "One Nation, Under God," we can become a nation of Integrity. As we remember our fallen heroes and Veterans this week, please examine your own character and encourage others as well to be people of integrity.