CALL TO INTEGRITY
In this article, Jide Ojo examines integrity as a godly virtue and encourages men everywhere to pursue its values.
What is integrity?
- Integrity can be defined as the quality of having strong moral principles.
- Internal consistency or lack of corruption.
- Integrity is doing what is right even when it’s difficult.
- Integrity comes from the root word “integer” which means “oneness”
- Being a person of integrity means you are the same person no matter the circumstances/the person you are relating with.
INTEGRITY IS A NEED OF THE MOMENT BECAUSE GOD WANTS US TO MAKE MORE EFFORT TO BE A MAN OF INTEGRITY.
ü More effort for our “yes” to be yes and our “no” to be no.
ü More effort to keep our words.
ü More effort to keep our covenant vows.
ü More effort to be prompt to meetings of the body and other appointments.
ü More effort to be whom we claim to be.
INTEGRITY IS AN ATTRIBUTE THAT EVERY FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST MUST STRIVE FOR, BECAUSE JESUS WAS A MAN OF INTEGRITY.
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.
ü The Pharisees, who are Jesus’ critics noticed His integrity.
ü They noticed his consistency.
ü They noticed he wasn’t swayed by men, because he paid no attention as to who they were.
ü They noticed the impartiality of Jesus, even when they found it difficult to agree with him.
ü A man of integrity treats people equally regardless of who they are.
The Word sway can be defined as a move or swing from side to side; or backward and forward; the trees swayed in the breeze.
v Integrity demands that we do what is right whether it is popular or not.
v Integrity demands that our morals and standards are consistent depending on the situation, people and circumstances.
1 Chronicles 29:17a
I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.
The very reason why it is important for us to work on our integrity is because God is pleased with it………
ü GOD IS PLEASED WHEN SHOW INTEGRITY WITH OUR TIMING.
ü God is pleased when we resolve to be prompt to services, meetings, appointments and workplace.
ü God is pleased when we show integrity with money matters.
ü God is pleased when we resolve not to cut corners.
ü When we resolve not to cut back on your contribution to God, no matter how tough it is.
ü When we say no to stealing and cheating at work/business dealings.
ü When we resolve not to join others in cheating government but to pay appropriate tax.
ü When we refuse the temptation to inflate the amount on the receipt/for the job offered.
ü When our “yes” is “yes” and “no” is “no”.
ü God is pleased with us when we live as faithful men of God.
Illustration: A story about integrity
A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over his business. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO and I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
A year went by and the CEO asked the young executives to bring their plants to work for inspection.
When Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot, she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.
When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My young executives, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He asked Jim to come to the front of the room. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer — Jim!”
Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.
“All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”
Brothers, let’s keep striving to be men of integrity even when:
ü It makes you feel like a fool, or a failure or unpopular among your peers
ü Let us resolve to say no to any temptation to grow a boiled seed as we learn from the illustration.
Proverbs 10:9 says, Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
ü God is looking for trustworthy people
ü Men of integrity, who will affirm the truth and resist the lies of the devil
ü Men who can be trustworthy witnesses through whom more people can be saved through faith in Jesus.
Resolve today you will be one.