What an interesting word – integrity. I am not really sure about you but it is a word that I seldom hear anymore.
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard someone described as a person of integrity. It’s been a really long time since I’ve heard anyone on the national spectrum described as a person of integrity. Honestly, it’s been a long time since anyone has commented to me about my personal integrity.
I think that is a shame.
Is it cultural? Have we simply stopped valuing integrity? Do we believe that people of integrity will simply get run over by the world? Are we too busy compromising our values, beliefs, ethics, morals…the core of who we are as a person of dignity and sacred worth? And for what purpose? Or is it simply that the word doesn’t apply to us today?
Merriam-Webster’s on-line dictionary offers this definition of integrity:
1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY
2. an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS
3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided: COMPLETENESS
As part of my daily reading yesterday I read Job’s final speech to his “friend,” Bildad. It is recorded in the 27th chapter of the book and in the 5th verse Job says “I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.” Job was counseled by his wife and friends to curse God; to blame God because Job did not deserve the horrific troubles that all of a sudden besieged him. But Job wouldn’t capitulate; he wouldn’t do it. He was a man of integrity.
I would like for integrity to make a resurgence. In our homes, in our schools, in our places of business, in our houses of worship, and in the halls of our government. I would prefer that people be incorruptible but that means that we have to shun the things that are corrupting our society. Call me whatever but I refuse to watch any video of the recent and provocative performance by Miley Cyrus. It hits to close to home about the moral corruption we are swimming in as a society.
I would like for us to be sound, complete as a post-modern, very enlightened society but we press on toward freedoms that we cannot handle; freedoms that are eroding our national and individual integrity.
I guess too many of us listened to the advice of Job’s wife and his three friends – we decided to compromise our integrity and figuratively (if not actually) curse God. We like our freedoms even if they are contributing to erosion around and in us.
I guess if we are going to have a resurgence of integrity it starts with each of us.
What do you need to do to either regain or maintain your integrity?
What is it that you want to demonstrate integrity in or about?
Or does integrity matter anymore? Is it an antiquated notion, a relic of the past?
I welcome any thoughts or comments.
Blessings for the journey.