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Spiritual Integrity

May 16, 2005

The Scripture says, “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole heart, not unto men, but do it unto God knowing that God will reward you” This means that whatever we do, we should give it our best effort and do it as if we were doing it for God. If we work with that standard in mind, I call this living through Spiritual Eyes…doing things with God as the focus…and in doing so, God promises to reward us.

With this in mind…how then do we define Spiritual Integrity? The dictionary defines integrity as “the quality or state of being of sound moral principal, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.

Integrity is a value that is taught to you but also a value that an individual may choose whether or not to use or demonstrate. Spiritual Integrity then in this sense would simply indicate that you are demonstrating the value of Integrity with God as the focus.

Remember….God wants us to be people of integrity, people of honor, people who are trustworthy. A person who is demonstrating integrity is open and honest. This individual doesn’t have any hidden agendas or ulterior motives. A person of integrity also is true to their word they keep their commitments, and is accountable for their thoughts, feelings and actions.

Violations of integrity usually accompany the feeling of getting away with something. It is feeling relieved when you were not “caught” doing something that you know is wrong. It is feeling lucky to mistakenly receive an extra five dollars in change.

People of integrity are the same in private as they are in public. They don’t go out and treat their friends and coworkers with respect and kindness and then go home and treat their family rudely or disrespectfull. When you have integrity, you will do what is right whether anybody is watching or not. Remember…God sees all……

So how do we know if we are demonstrating integrity or not?…..

The following are just 10 common ways in which an individual is NOT demonstrating integrity:

1. Arriving late or not showing up at all

2. Talking behind someone’s back

3. Witholding information, distorting the truth

4. Failing to follow through on a commitment or promise

5. Parking in a handicap space

6. Taking two spaces in a parking lot

7. Leaving work early without your employer’s knowledge

8. Taking or using office supplies for personal use

9. Not returning borrowed items

10.Not paying people back

Every day our integrity is tested. If a bank teller gives you $100 extra dollars too much, are you going to have integrity and go back and return the money? Or are you going to say “Thank you Jesus, I needed that”!….Do you call in sick at work when you need to take care of personal business or are just too tired to go to work?……

When the phone rings and it is someone that you don’t want to talk to do you tell your child to lie and say that you are not home?…When you answer the phone and a telemarketer is on the other end do you tell them that you are not the person they asked for?…..All of these are what in our society we refer to as “White Lies”……Understand that in God’s sight, there is no such thing as a white lie vs. black lie vs. gray lie…they are all lies…and a lie is a lie…...

If you are not telling the truth, that’s being dishonest and sooner or later, it will catch up with you. If you lie about the little things, before long you’ll lie about bigger things.

What you sow you will eventually reap.

When someone gives you too much money as change, have the integrity to bring it to their attention…

If you need to take a personal day at work…let them know ..instead of lying and saying that you are ill.

If your phone rings and it’s someone that you do not want to speak to…simply don’t answer the phone if you are not in the mood for talking…but if your child happens to answer the phone and you don’t want to speak to the person who called..get on the phone and let them know that you can’t talk right now but you will call them back later…and then be true to your word…

If a telemarketer calls…and you are not interested..simply let them know that you are not interested…don’t lie and say that you are not the person they are talking to….remember “Through Spiritual Eyes”.

With respect to our actions…remember Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable reading about in the newspaper the next day….

If your friends or coworkers were to be interviewed on television, would they say that you are a person of honor, somebody they can count on, somebody they can trust?…or would they say that you are the kind of person that would stab you in the back and are only out for yourself…..

God wants us to be people of integrity. If you don’t have integrity, you will never reach your highest potential. Integrity is the foundation on which a truly successful life is built. You will never have lasting prosperity if you don’t first have integrity.

There is a story about a wealthy man who had a friend who was a builder of homes. The builder was down in his business so the wealthy man decided to help him out by having him to build a home for him. He gave the builder a set of plans and a hefty check for 300,000. He then told him that he trusted his decisions and to do the best job that he could and if satisfied he would be paid well.

The builder was very excited to receive such a large check but even more excited that he would be able to cut expenses which would enable him to keep a share of the money he had received. He went out and purchased the cheapest concrete that he could find as well as the cheapest lumber…while all the while thinking about the money that he was going to be able to pocket…he did the same thing with the plumbing and wiring…when it was all said and done he was able to pocket 40,000 thousand dollars without his friend knowing about it….he deposited the money into his personal account.

After completing the job, he called his friend to come to look at the completed job….His friend was quite impressed..on the surface the house looked great however…the corners that were cut made the house much less than what it actually appeared to be….the builder could not wait to see how much he would be paid for the job…after going through the home…the wealthy man turned to his friend and told him that he already had a beautiful home and handed his friend the keys and said welcome to your new home…..the builder nearly passed out…..any idea why?……

After 3 months the house began falling apart…then cracks started to appear at various places….then the plumbing and wiring went bad….it cost much more than the 40,000 that he had deposited…

If only he had been a man of integrity this would not have happened….

In closing I would like to say that it is sometimes easy to not be a person of integrity, but we must make a commitment to ourselves. Don’t settle for being mediocre; strive to be the very best individual that you can be...not one who complains constantly, and does only enough to get by…remember…you are representing the Almighty God. If you live with a commitment to integrity, happiness will be a natural by-product, because God will reward you far beyond your wildest dreams.

Keep in mind that Integrity is doing what is right, not out of the fear of a negative consequence, but because it is what you know to be right…To do what you know is not right only cheats the Universe. And when you cheat the Universe, the Universe will cheat you…..

Living your life with integrity means that anyone at any given time could peek into your life and you will feel at ease..After all, there is nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of…You are simply living your life with integrity.
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Dr. Virgil Davis is currently a full professor of psychology. Davis has published several articles and is co-author of the books "Understanding Psychology". (6 editions) Dr. Davis is owner of Davis Karate Studios, holds a 7th degree black belt in karate and is also a Reiki Master.