We continue to reflect on the list of fifteen common values that make civilizations and world religions, great as I mentioned in the introductory post. Those values are: Wisdom, Integrity, Love, Freedom, Justice, Courage, Humility, Patience, Industriousness, Thriftiness, Generosity, Objectivity, Cooperation, Moderation and Optimism.
By definition it is 1the idea of singleness of heart or mind. 2Faithful support of a standard of values. 3Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. 4The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished. – One author once said, Integrity is the character trait that shows who you really are when nobody is watching. It is one of those “sticky” values that we are very prone to discover the lack of it in others, but we make excuses when are confronted by our failure to have it.
But what is integrity and why is it so important? When we consider the root of the word itself, “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may say that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold. It is of extreme importance because it goes to the core of what society is all about. The word “wholeness” resonates with me because it refers to something that has no parts, it is one thing, and as such it acts as it portrays itself. We should do the same regardless if we are seen or not.
Every individual in society should be regarded as “complete” or “whole” because it will ensure a nation that will achieve greatness in all it does. We are tested almost every single day on this subject. It is so important that Salomon, states that a man that walks with integrity, no only reaps the benefits of his completeness of character, but he also blesses his lineage. All of his works will pass the test to time and the scrutiny of others, and will bring honor to his family. But what if I believe I lack integrity? You are on the right track. This is value, as all values, can be learned and developed. You can be accountable to someone else that will help you become the man or woman of integrity you want to become. King David, a man that God said was after his own heart, struggled with many issues as you and I struggle daily. In one of those moments he made this prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Do as David did, ask God to create a clean heart and a loyal spirit, a “wholeness or complete” spirit, in you.
Finally, there is a difference between the freedom of choice and the choices that bring freedom, and if we chose the latter, our life and that of our nation will be better. And it starts with you; when you chose to live a life of Integrity.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright DP, 2012
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.