The next distinguishing character of a disciple of Jesus for our consideration is ‘integrity’! Integrity is defined as ‘soundness of moral principle and character; uprightness and honesty’. In a world where morals are open for much debate it is difficult to know where to draw the line when it comes to integrity. Morals are all about right conduct and distinction between right and wrong. Sadly, what is ‘right and wrong’ is also the subject of much debate and seems to be more based on ‘situational ethics’, that is, depending on the situation. Thus, the conduct of integrity is often missing in the workplace, school playground, university campus, family, community and sometimes even the church.
I read in the introduction to the study on the ‘Distinctive in Integrity’ that somebody has thoughtfully noted, ‘Sometimes at the end of the day I think back on what I have done at work and I am disappointed in myself. That unkind word of misrepresentation, that email of exaggeration, that selfish use of a machine in a way I wasn’t meant to, that gossip … I wish my behaviour were more consistent’. Often we only limit our thinking on integrity to sexual behaviour, but in this quote, we are confronted with a myriad of other behavioral attitudes that expose us to the deeper meaning of integrity. It covers so much more on how we live our lives out on a daily basis.
The reality is that people around us notice what we do! People will see in our behaviour our true self! I must confess as I contemplate this, I am feeling heavy hearted! I find it a real struggle to be a righteous person in all I do for this is what being a person of integrity means. Garry will take us into the Book of Daniel this morning to learn from this special man of God (Daniel) in how we may become known as people of integrity. The character of the true disciple of Jesus is starting to really take shape viz. followers of Jesus with a godly motivation; a strong work ethic with balance; a love for God and for their neighbour through being servant hearted and now a person of integrity.