I Resolve To Live With Integrity - Various
June mini-resolution - God's will is INTEGRITY not IRRESPONSIBILITY.
When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone who does what he says he will do. His word is his bond. He keeps his promises. God's will is that we have a godly character & God is a promise keeper!
When the 9th Browns head coach since 1999 - head coach Freddie Kitchens - was introduced by Browns' owners Haslams - Kitchens was introduced as a man of integrity. On way to first press conference Kitchens was asked if he was nervous. "I learned a long time ago if you just speak the truth..."
#1 -Integrity means doing the ___________ in a ___________ way.
"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." Proverbs 11:3 NIV
Someone with integrity is reliable. Opposite of irresponsible. You can count on someone with integrity. Godly integrity means doing the right thing reliably, time after time, circumstance after circumstance. This Proverbs verse says it so perfectly because it draws the picture of integrity of the upright on one end of the spectrum and the unfaithful on the other end with their duplicity.There's no duplicity with integrity!
Integrity comes from "integer." Integer is a whole number that is not a fraction. The Latin literally means "whole." The person with integrity is a "whole" person - with the same character of integrity with one group of people as he is with another group. Places. Situations.
#2 - Integrity begins and ends with _____________ .
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 NIV
As much as we would like to be men and women of integrity, we fail on our own. The pressure to change who we are and what we do is just too great. We fail often. We label that "humanity." The Bible labels it "sin." For us to enjoy a whole integrity requires greater power than we possess. Requires godly power. Jesus says He is the way, truth, life, We access that way truth and life through the Spirit of Christ within us. To own real integrity means to have the wholeness and the holiness of God within us. There is no other way. Integrity begins & ends with Jesus.
#3 - Integrity is always _______________ . I have to desire it.
"Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way." Hebrews 13:18 NIV
We cannot achieve integrity without Jesus, but just being a Christian - by itself - does not insure integrity. Sadly the world is filled with Christ-followers who do not do with they say they will, who do not display integrity. We must be intentional about pursuing integrity, about becoming a promise-keeper. Our prayer is "God I need Your help, Your power, and Your reminders about my integrity, about my promises." Our commitment is to practice integrity. Living up to our responsibilities.
There are three ways we are intentional about integrity:
#4 - Integrity in my actions grows out of my _______________ .
"Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." Proverbs 4:26 NIV
Think before you speak. Think before you act. Think before you promise. Sometimes we want to be the hero. We want people to think well of us so we make promises we could never possibly keep. In the end we just disappoint everyone.
Example - Michael Scott's promise to give college education to 3rd graders. 10 years later welshes on the deal. Didn't count the cost of his promise. Think first!
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV
There is another "thinking" aspect of the person with integrity, and that is that the person with integrity - wanting to do the right things in every situation - thinks about the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. He/she is careful about what he/she puts into his/her mind because what goes in is what ultimately comes out. What do you read? What do you watch? Does it inspire you toward integrity?
Earl Nightengale: "Suppose a farmer has some land, & it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land what ever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make the decision. We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant. Let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand—one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds—one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted. "'As ye sow, so shall ye reap.'"
Are you planting in your mind the seeds of integrity?
#5 - Integrity is not always easy or _________________ .
"For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man." 2 Corinthians 8:21 NIV
Being intentional about integrity means not looking for the easy road. Being a promise keeper is rarely easy or convenient. It means making difficult choices. It means valuing integrity above other financial or time goals. Because we only have a limited amount of money and time, we are careful how we spend them. We value keeping our promises above something more fun or with greater immediate gratification.
Example - Dad's Promise Of Tuition to great grandchild named Walsine. His contributions to college fund are never convenient or easy, but Dad values his integrity over any other way he could spend his money.
#6 - Simple test for integrity: the _________________ .
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 NIV
Test your choices with the golden rule. How would I feel if I were treated this way? If I rely upon a promise, upon someone's integrity, and it doesn't happen, what happens to me and my family? Practice the golden rule in the small things of life, and you will naturally learn to practice the golden rule in all aspects of your life. Fail to apply the golden rule in the small ways and you'll never ever practice the golden rule in the big ways.
John Maxwell says the golden rule is the best integrity guideline. "The Golden Rule works in the boardroom, on the ball field, in the classroom, and in the living room. It works with employees, employers, family, and peers. It works whether you’re managing a paper route or a Fortune 500 company."
Conclusion: Decide today that you will be a promise-keeper. The earlier in your life the better. But it's never too late. If you are not a man or woman with integrity, then you cannot live a godly life, It's that simple. Mindless objects float with current. Animals instinct. Irresponsible men convenience. Only a man of integrity will choose integrity no matter what.