In the United States the results of our recent election are uncertain because tragically there appears to be widespread, organized fraud and corruption. To preserve our democracy we need to expose any wrongdoing that prevents a free and fair election now and in the future. The need for fidelity and integrity extends beyond the election. Integrity should fundamentally define our nations, our societies, and the character and actions of every citizen.
Do you value integrity in yourself and others? It involves honesty, trustworthiness, transparency, authenticity, dependability, honorable intentions, and doing the right thing. You may know people who aren’t that way. They readily lie, conceal, and deceive without regret. They justify their self-serving crookedness with excuses like it’s no big deal, most of it is true, no one is going to know, or it gets me what I want whereas truth and righteousness don’t. Some of them are deluded by the false notion that truth is relative. They believe what they do or say is acceptable according to their unique standard. They recognize that people might have a different standard, but it doesn’t apply to them; they should be free from another’s judgment. Although in the short-term this can be an attractive and convenient way to live, it’s wrong and terribly damaging.
That’s why God opposes it. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19). Living without integrity kills us and hurts others. It’s wise to heed further instruction from Proverbs. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9). “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” (Proverbs 11:3). “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy” (Proverbs 12:22). “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).
When Jesus, God the Son, came to earth as a man, he lived and taught people to, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). That’s integrity. In fact, Jesus is the quintessential example of integrity. He always speaks the truth. He’s genuine, kind, caring, and open. He faithfully obeys and glorifies God. He reliably serves people. You can count on him no matter what. All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). He loves unconditionally and without fail. He sacrificed his innocent life and rose again so we can be saved. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ integrity no one could be saved from their deadly rebellion against God. We could not be reconciled with God and join his royal family. We could not experience abundant peace, joy, hope, and everlasting life that only Jesus enables.
If you have come to trust and obey Jesus, you should model integrity as he did. The apostle Peter, exhorts believers to follow Jesus’ example of integrity even though it involves suffering at times, “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:20-24). As you let Jesus live in you, he will guide you to help others so they can be saved by God also. If you don’t know Jesus yet, or you aren’t living a life of integrity ask Jesus to save you and train you. People, societies, and nations will not survive without Jesus and the integrity he enables.