Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich. Proverbs 28:6
According to Strong’s Dictionary: Definition of Integrity (Hebrew H8549): complete, whole, entire, sound.
The word integrity comes from the root word “integer”, which means whole. An integer is a whole number such as 1, 2, 3, etc. There is no partial or fraction of a number associated with an integer. Integrity is about being complete as a person where one does not put on a show to appear to be a different person than they are.
There are a few characteristics that go with integrity:
People with integrity are the same regardless of who they are around. They are not a thermometer but are a thermostat. They have a Godly standard that they don’t plan on deviating from regardless of the cost.
When it comes to lifestyle, people of integrity know what is acceptable to the Lord and live their lives to please Him. They don’t live a different lifestyle based on who they are with. They don’t have different group of friends for their gambling, drinking, or church activities. They choose their friends carefully, so they won’t have to place themselves in compromising positions or be expected to do something that they are not willing to do.
At work, people with integrity are diligent working as unto the Lord (See Colossians 3:23). They don’t cut corners because others don’t notice. They don’t take long lunch breaks or leave early because the boss is not around. They don’t act like they are working while wasting time, neither do they make excuses for projects taking longer. They do their job as unto the Lord, and they remain diligent whether anyone is looking or not.
Those with integrity are not partial in their relationships with people. They live fairly and justly (See 1 Thessalonians 2:10). People of integrity are not comfortable with gossiping, and they are not willing to use it to develop intimacy with those in power. They recognize gossip for what it is, and they steer away from getting trapped by it. When there are issues that need to be confronted, they have the courage to deal with it Biblically. They go to the person rather than venting on others and then acting like nothing happened.
The above scripture tells us that it is better to be poor and have integrity rather than being rich and living perversely. God is pleased with a person of integrity and that is far more valuable than any earthly treasures than we can receive in our own strength.
How are you doing with integrity? Do you measure your integrity against others? Are there areas that need to be shored up? Prayerfully listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in this area.