The following blog post is an extract taken from our Food for the Journey booklet which covers seven disciplines for Christian living. If you would like to download a digital copy of the booklet and work through the daily devotions please click here: FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY
THE DISCIPLINE OF INTEGRITY
HONESTY, SINCERITY, PROMISE KEEPING
The word integrity means being the same through and through, “What you see is what I am”. It also means completeness, soundness, wholeness, blamelessness.
As followers of Christ we are the ones who show others what Jesus is like. Therefore old habits, ways of doing things before we knew Christ, “grey areas in our lives if you like” have to be carefully looked at and adjusted to the “new life” in Christ we now have. Lying, insincerity, dishonesty, unreliability etc. cannot be a part of us anymore, otherwise we give a false impression of the Lord we serve.
Things that we do and the things that happen to us that have a deep affect on us, (death of a parent, divorce, mugging, etc) shape us and our responses to life and people – “new life” in Christ can bring healing to damaged emotions, failure and hurt. Restoration and wholeness comes with knowing Christ. In Christ all our past sins are dealt with and our relationship with God restored, yet as completely as our past sins are forgiven there is still a need to allow Him to do some overhauling” in our lives. We may have very rigid mindsets about things. He is certainly going to teach us to think differently about a lot of things and people. He will address our prejudices, resistances and weaknesses as well as our areas of compromise. The Lord will do this very lovingly but very firmly.
Correction and instruction form a very necessary part of our journey. How else can we be true witnesses of Him?
When we receive Christ into our lives we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who “guides us into all truth” and very often that is the truth about ourselves and what needs changing.
We cannot be any more accepted than we already are as the Father’s children, but we can become progressively purer in the practical details of living.
Often our integrity gets tarnished because we speak or act too hastily. The end product is usually thoughtlessness or selfishness, giving others the wrong impression of the Lord we serve.
Lip service is simply not enough. The proof of our sincerity about Christ will reflect in how we handle people around us – the care and acceptance we show them – the decisions we make regarding them – our response to their pain and need. This is a real challenge to us – but we must never think we have got to do it alone. We have the Holy Spirit to empower and enable us at every point.
Businessmen and women who, as a result of giving their lives to Christ, made the necessary adjustments to their management style and approach to work, while it was tough at first, have found tremendous peace in doing things “Christ’s way”. Doing things “Christ’s way” requires a constant submission to His Lordship – in other words giving Him full control of every aspect of our lives. It is a constant temptation to try and control our own lives and a daily need to surrender our lives to Him. Who better to lead, direct and guide us
The important thing is we do not have to “make ourselves over”, we simply need to let His Holy Spirit convict us of the areas that need to be changed and then to be obedient to those pointers and what a blessing that will prove to be.