A Note on Integrity

A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
Ill-gotten gain has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
The LORD will not let the godly starve to death, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.
Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.
A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.
The godly are showered with blessings; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.
We all have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.
The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.
Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but fools will be punished with a rod.
Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.
The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their calamity.
The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray. 
To hide hatred is to be a liar; to slander is to be a fool.
Don’t talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!
The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.
The godly give good advice, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.
The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly.
Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge.
Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain.
The LORD protects the upright but destroys the wicked.
The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.
The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. 
The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.

Proverbs 10:1-32

I had the hardest time selecting just one piece of wisdom from the scripture above. There is SO much in chapter 10…I could spend another month just hashing through it, verse by verse.

In the end, I opted for verse 9, which speaks about integrity. When a person thinks of integrity, he or she generally focus’ in on morals, ethics, or character. To be sure, it is all of this and more. When I think of integrity, I think of something that is whole, complete. It’s from a root word that means intact. It means our hearts are not divided. There is no hidden agenda. It means doing the right thing even if no one is looking.

Let me set up a couple of scenarios for you.

  • You’re just wrapping up at the checkout counter when you realize the cashier gave you $10.00 extra in change. Do you simply grin to yourself, thinking that you’re lucky to have the extra cash? Or do you give it back?
  • It’s Friday evening. You’re out with a few friends at a local hot spot when you notice that the man two tables over had left his wallet behind. Do you keep the money out of it and opt to mail the wallet to its owner anonymously? Or, do you throw it aside, keeping the cash you found inside? Or, since you saw him leave, do you run after him in an attempt to return it with all of its contents in tact?
  • Are you an active participant in people bashing? Or do you choose to lift the other person high, even though they bash you?
  • Is your behavior appropriate only on Sundays? Do you spend the rest of your week conforming to your surroundings? Or, do you live your life in such a radical way day in and day out?

There are two types of integrity: personal and group. Do you privately practice what you preach in public?

Think of a piece of clean, clear, pale of glass. Such a piece of glass will look the same from both sides. You can turn it around, turn it upside down, flip-flop it, it doesn’t matter. It is clear and complete regardless of the angle. The glass has integrity.

A person of integrity manifests this same singleness. He doesn’t, for instance, have a clear public side and a shady private side. He doesn’t have a Sunday face that is directly opposite of his weekday face. She doesn’t carry on the work of the Lord on one hand and the work of the devil on the other. Integrity speaks of a singleness of purpose, singleness of will, singleness of heart.

Proverbs 10:9, “The man of integrity walks securely. He who takes crooked paths will be found out.” One of the benefits of walking in integrity is confidence. You don’t have any skeletons in your closet. You don’t have anything to hide.

How will you choose to live today?

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One thought on “A Note on Integrity

  1. Lissa January 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM Reply

    AWESOME, and SO true! I love these verses… but they are humbling!

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