Which Version Of Me?

Our small group talked about “integrity.”

We’re working through Daniel’s story of faithfulness during a life in Babylonian exile. This week we focused on Daniel’s ability to maintain his integrity in the midst of challenging circumstances.

The word “integrity” gets tossed around a lot. As a teacher, I wanted my students to understand that living with integrity involves more than simply being honest or honorable or truthful. I’m certain they dismissed the words, but perhaps they internalized the model.

Integrity comes from the Latin word integer which means whole and complete. A person of integrity is whole and complete, consistent, the same person in all circumstances. There’s an integration, or consistency, of values, principles, words, actions, processes, expectations, and desired outcomes.

I hoped my students knew what they could expect every day in all aspects of our classroom. Nobody’s perfectly integrated, of course. But I wanted students to experience “dignity and respect” in the way we worked with instruction, assessment, homework, and relationships.

I don’t have a classroom any more, but integrity still matters. Speaking gigs. Blogs and social media. FREEDOM TOUR. I do my best to be consistent, to make sure my words and actions reflect Jesus.

Integrity means I don’t pick and choose based on circumstances. Words match actions. I’m consistent. You get the same version of *me* in every situation.

Integrity lives where ends never justify means, where values and principles are never sacrificed to achieve a desired outcome. And integrity means desired outcomes and processes align with values.

Integrity lives where the guy with the biggest stick or the most money doesn’t automatically win.

Integrity lives where I don’t look over my shoulder, wondering who recorded those words or deeds I really don’t want you to know about. We’re certainly entitled to privacy. Integrity lives with confidence that revealed private activity might be embarrassing but not devastating.

Integrity lives where I might get in trouble because I refuse to compromise rather than because I did.

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