Walking With Integrity
Integrity is not always connected to what you know or how much knowledge you may have. Nor is it connected to how much money you have or how you look. One can have a lot of knowledge, have a whole lot of money and be beautiful and yet have no integrity. When you think about Integrity how do you see it?
Integrity is not something that passes on from family to family like our genes, it is something that may be slow to develop or something that is implanted inside us. It is connected to our morals, character and the way that we see the world around us. The axis of whether or not we have integrity is our families, primarily our parents, that is why we as parents are responsible for ensuring that we are not only instilling an integrity like mind in our children but we must develop it as well. I cant say that it is impossible but I would say that it is very hard for children who have no moral gage to develop a moral character. We parents must be the gage for values, righteous character and integrity, our gage of course must come from the Scriptures!
OT:8537 [used 24xs] tom (tome); from OT:8552; completeness; figuratively, prosperity; usually (morally) innocence: full, integrity, perfect (-ion), simplicity, upright (-ly, -ness), at a venture. See OT:8550. ***. Tema’. See OT:8485.
OT:8550 Tummiym (toom-meem’); plural of OT:8537; perfections, i.e. (techn.) one of the epithets of the objects in the high-priest’s breastplate as an emblem of complete Truth:
Ex 28:30 30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before Yahweh: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before Yahweh continually.
Dictionary definition: 1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. 2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness. 3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
The quality of being honest: honesty, honor, honorableness, incorruptibility, upstandingness. See honestThe condition of being free from defects or flaws: durability, firmness, solidity, soundness, stability, strength, wholeness. See better The state of being entirely whole: completeness, entirety, oneness, totality, wholeness. See part
To develop Integrity one first has to desire it and then he or she must practice it. Think about it, if you who have never run a 5k run and then all of a sudden you decide that you will get up and try to run it. You can bet that your body will let you know that the idea is crazy. Integrity is a value that develops from the daily practice of doing the right things over and over again; until such a point that it becomes common nature. In fact you wan to get to the point where you will not be at rest if you do not do what is right.
As parents, we must understand that teaching this to our children takes time and it will not be done overnight. The scriptures contain within the writings many examples of people that we can copy that walked with integrity. As we review the following examples remember that integrity is not a stand alone value or skill, rather it is a summation of many good and moral character values.
Yahweh recognized that Abraham was a man of integrity:
Gen 18:17-19 17 Then Yahweh said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing what is right and just, so that Yahweh will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Yahweh demands that the leaders are to be man of integrity:
Deut 16:18-20 18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town Yahweh your Elohim is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land Yahweh your Elohim is giving you.
Our Heavenly Father weighs the integrity of a man as he examines and judges us:
Ps 7:8 let Yahweh judge the peoples. Judge me, O YHWH, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.
Yowceph (Joseph) is a great demonstrator of integrity:
Gen 39:1-12 39:1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 Yahweh was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that Yahweh was with him and that Yahweh gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, Yahweh blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of Yahweh was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against Elohim?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Teaching Integrity to our children:
Before we can teach our children integrity we ourselves should be walking in it. It is hard to teach something that you know nothing about. That is why we must do all that we can to examine our selves our lives and to ensure that we are walking in integrity.
The second thing that we must do is that we must teach our children about choices and their consequences. Some of the excuses that people use when it come to making a righteous choice over a bad or negative choice is by justifying the action. It’s okay as long as you don’t get caught,” or “It’s not that bad, every one’s doing it.” or This doesnt hurt anyone!
As parents, we need to teach our children to stop asking what’s wrong with certain a choice. Instead, we need to teach them to ask what’s right with it. We need to help our children ask the questions about whether their choices or actions are moving them further away from integrity and most importantly our Heavenly Father. If we are able to help them recognize that a specific choice and or decisions is not in their best interest and they do the right thing, then they are victorious. They have won the battle.
Here is a small poem that exemplifies the meaning of walking in integrity:
-The choices we make every day, Dictate the life we lead. To yourself be true!
We are told in Luke 16:10 that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” The more responsibility that we have the greater the accountability that we will have.
How we handle the small the things is an indicator of how we will be handling the bigger issues. We need to talk to our children about how our actions in small things will affect the character of our lives. When you say little lies, we will definitely think that it is ok to say the big ones.
A key to maintaining integrity is for us to have some sort of accountability. Accountability is simply being responsible to another person or persons for the commitments that we have made. Now sometimes that we make commitments that we are not able to make and it is nobodys fault; an example of that is if I made a commitment to take the kids to the store to buy something but before I could take them I became sick or lost my job. Those kinds of things are understandable, but when we make commitments on a regular basis and we dont come through with them then we are effectively lacking in integrity. When you are able to talk to somebody and make yourself transparent and say listen I am going to do this and if I dont will you please hold me accountable, although that is hard to do, if we are sincere about building integrity then this will help us become better people.
Sometimes we make commitments and we dont recognize the hardships that we place people under when we dont come through. I can remember when I had a friend that had told me that he wanted to come over so that we could discuss a business venture. My wife had a made a wonderful dinner that she has worked very hard on. In fact she jokingly said that he had better show up because she had worked so hard to make this dinner. Well he didnt show up and he didnt call telling me that he was not going to show up. Now would you be willing to go into a business venture with a person like this?
Integrity is developed by keeping all of our promises including the little insignificant ones. Those that keep their word are known for having integrity; those that dont are generally not trusted. So having someone that you can account to is an important thing in assisting you to develop integrity!
When it comes to our children we want to make sure that we help them develop integrity so they can withstand peer pressure. Peer pressure is one of the biggest sins or things that many of our children will have to deal with. Today, teenagers are involved in sexual promiscuity, something they call sexting and many other sinful and negative behaviors. We must take the reigns and make sure that our children understand that those behaviors are not conducive to having a great relationship with our Heavenly Father. As parents we need to nurture our children so that they grow up to be happy and healthy adults, and along the way we want to develop a character of integrity.
As faithful believers we have a responsibility to be Qodesh or distinct, different, peculiar, special and definitely clean and undefiled. Our father commands us to be Set-apart as he is set apart.
2 Sam 22:21-31 21 “Yahweh has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 22 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh; I have not done evil by turning from my Elohim. 23 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 24 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 25 Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. 26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 27 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 28 You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 29 You are my lamp, O YHWH; Yahweh turns my darkness into light. 30 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my Elohim I can scale a wall. 31 “As for Elohim, his way is perfect; the word of Yahweh is flawless. He is a shield
Ps 112:4-9 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. 5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in Yahweh. 8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. 9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.