The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7
Nobody is born being integrous, integrity is cultivated, and it is reached with effort; of course, in the measure of the willingness to expose ourselves before God. Integrity is the openness that the human spirit acquires of allowing the inheritance of sin to be exposed to the light; No one who is unwilling to expose himself before God can be integrous.
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Genesis 3:10
Integrity has nothing to do with morality, although of course, there will be those who strive to define it in terms of it. Integrity is a human virtue of a spiritual nature, and therefore, to cultivate it, it is necessary to eradicate all the secular models and morality patterns on which it was intended to be built first.
Integrity is ordered from the personal decision to act according to divine dispositions; it can only be integrous who is willing to honor God through his executions. The basic reason why we cannot be integrous is because very few have decided to have God in their knowledge.
And even as they did not like to retainh God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans 1:28
To think that we can become integrous without Him is to move away from the possibility of being it, appeal to morality as an alternative resource just wraps us in a spell; So, those who want to expose themselves to the possibility of being integrous in God, welcome, and forward in the effort.
I have many years in the Gospel, and in the pastorate, and I have noticed that many believers -including me- although in Christ and faithful participants of a congregation of faith, have not been able to reach a status of total integrity; and I do not want you to confuse believing that when we point to someone’s non-integrity it is equivalent to identifying the person as a sinner.
A person can be exempt from sin and not be integrous, and it is because integrity has to do with perfection, and not with levels of immorality, as is highlighted in social morality science.
One day in dialogue with the Lord, I dared to ask him, why have not many men and women of God been able to be integrous? And this is what He answered me.
The evaluation platforms and the ways of measuring human behavior are distorted; everyone evaluates the situations and conducts themselves according to their own convenience.
The first obstacle that we have to overcome is the tendency to self-justification. This is the biggest obstacle that prevents us from being integrous.
Although we all know and confess that justification is not for works, in everyday practice the reality is different. There is a tendency within us, and increasingly stronger, to justify our actions and our feelings. We need to explain why we are late, why we did, or did not do, such a thing, we compare ourselves with others; and worse still, we appeal to the Word to validate acts that do not lead us to anything good, many of them even shameful.
The strength of this tendency, unfortunately, we extract from the principles of morality that we sustain. We blame others; we argue that we did it in naivety, that Satan deceived us. We all know very well what we are talking about.
To cultivate integrity we must consider, first, how we are assessing the situations that confront us.
The evaluation platforms that we currently use to measure our behaviors, and the reactions to everyday situations, are distorted, manipulated according to the good and private interest and directed by selfish thoughts.
Integrity is aimed at achieving community benefit. In recent days I was enlightened by God in my own case.
It happened to me that one of these days Christian was left without a vehicle, and I had to take him to his place of employment; but also like every day I had to take Diego and Zion to their school. So that Christian did not incur in a delay, I decided to take Christian to his employment place, first, and then leave Zion and Diego at school. I didn’t have enough time to make a route to left each one in their proper place.
It happened that Diego was late and to not affect Christian, I left Diego and took Zion with me.
After dropping off Christian at his place of employment, I decided to go back to pick up Diego to eventually drop them off at their school.
The scheme seemed good to me, why pass by the school first to drop off Zion if in general, it was already late? A few more minutes would not make a difference.
My evaluation platform was wrong, it was unfair. I should have taken Zion to school before picking up Diego since Zion had made an effort to get up early, to be on time at the time of departure because he knew what had happened to Christian’s vehicle and the need he had. Not to arrive late that day.
At the moment of acting, my decision seemed right, it was practical, it made things easier for me, but I incurred an injustice against Zion.
The evaluation platforms that we use are distorted, they are selfish, they do not seek to establish justice and truth, and worse, they do not seek the community wellness.
When I was corrected by the Lord, I confess, I got uncomfortable. Confronted by the experience, I immediately remembered that in the Scriptures I had read at some point a text that says, “so that you may learn to fear Jehovah your God every day“. I looked for it, and it says literally:
And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:23
And there I understood the correction. Integrity is cultivated. You learn to be integrous. ¡If the fear of God is learned, how much more integrity!
Of course, if the person does not self-justify, otherwise, the person cannot learn to be integrous, and he will lose the opportunity to be exposed to an ambiance of integrity.
We see now why the need to destroy mundane evaluation platforms, and replace them with biblical and spiritual platforms, is the only way to achieve integrity. It is ordered in the same Scripture,
LORD, who shall abidea in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1-2
Integrity demands effort, sacrifice, dedication, boldness. Integrity demands the community wellness before the personal one.
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18
Integrity is built through the effort of the person to show that their intentions are honest. The integrous strives not to act moved by a hidden reason. His action is sincere, does not hide any trap, or double agenda, nor seeks to obtain a result that has not manifested in advance.
Integrity is built on the foundation of truth. Being integrous means being truthful, it is the person who acts according to the truth. The integrous does not deceive, does not commit fraud, and does not disappoint the trust of those who trust in him.
Being integrous before God means to appear before Him believing that He is the only God, that apart from Him there is nothing, no one. Idolatry is considered as a symptom that the person suffers from an absence of integrity,
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
Integrity is built on justice actions. Integrous is the person who is not attached to material things.
Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Matthew 19:21
Integrous is the person who does not refuse to do tasks even if they do not correspond to him, even if they are not his responsibility.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Matthew 5:40, 41
Integrous is who gives, who does not retain, who does not take for himself, who develops the quality of not clinging to material things, because doing so accumulates treasures in the heavens.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
Integrous is the person who learned not to justify himself, the one who properly judges each situation; integrous is the one who understands that each situation warns him of the existence of a lack of integrity that must be overcome.
h to retain: or, to acknowledge
a abide: Heb. sojourn