WHAT IS HONESTY? WHAT IS INTEGRITY?

by BCBP Editor

businessmen shaking hands smBro Larry Arceo, BCBP Makati, shares with us a reflection by Charles Swindoll on Integrity and Honesty that may help us understand a deeper meaning of BCBP’s Advocacy “Be Honest”. Swindoll calls Integrity “the father’s thumbprint” that he should leave in the heart and character of his children. This is also the thumbprint that the BCBP businessman or woman or professional needs to leave in the heart of his/her workplace.
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Integrity is rock-like. It won’t crack when it has to stand alone, and it won’t crumble though the pressure mounts. Integrity keeps one from fearing the white light of examination or resisting the exacting demands of close scrutiny. It’s honesty at all costs.

The words of Louis Adamic seem fitting, “There is a certain blend of courage, integrity, character and principle which has no satisfactory dictionary name but has been called different things at different times in different countries. Our American name for it is ‘guts.'”

I like that. Integrity is having the guts to tell the truth, even if it may hurt to do so. Integrity is having the guts to be honest, even though cheating may bring about a better grade. Integrity is having the guts to quote sources rather than to plagiarize.

But there are some things integrity is not. It is not sinless perfection. A person with integrity does not live a life absolutely free of sin. No one does. But one with integrity quickly acknowledges his failures and doesn’t hide the wrong.

Now, in addressing this crucial mark of character, I could come across as the “white knight,” but you know me better than that. I fail like everyone else. The sooner you remember that, the better we’ll get along. But concerning the issue of integrity, I give you my word. You will know if I have failed or if Insight for Living has failed in some way. I will tell you. I will not lead you to believe something is true if it is false. That is the least I can do as a minister of the Gospel.

Integrity is essential in the church, in the marketplace, and especially in the home. When you walk in integrity, you leave it as a legacy for your children to follow (Proverbs 20:7). It’s what I call the father’s thumbprint. Blessed are you if you had a father with integrity and a mother with guts.

be honest evenWhen you work with integrity, you honor the Lord. Regardless of your profession, your character and conduct are methods of ministry. Over 50 years ago, Elton Trueblood wrote,

“It is hard to think of any job in which the moral element is lacking. The skill of the dentist is wholly irrelevant if he is unprincipled and irresponsible. There is little, in that case, to keep him from extracting teeth unnecessarily, because the patient is usually in a helpless situation. It is easy to see the harm that can be done by an unprincipled lawyer. Indeed, such a man is far more dangerous if he is skilled than if he is not skilled.”

Do you put wire in walls? Do you repair cars? Do you work with numbers? Do you sell clothes? Perhaps you practice law or medicine. The important thing is not what work you do, but whether you do your work with integrity. Perhaps you labor behind the scenes, and your only thanks is the inner satisfaction of a job done right. Do you cheat on your exams? Are you cheating on your mate? Some have the audacity to do such things and call themselves Christians. No wonder the world is confused!

You want to shock the world? Start here . . . demonstrating the guts to do what’s right when no one is looking. It takes real guts to stand strong with integrity in a culture weakened by hypocrisy. Start today.

First posted by Bro Larry Arceo, BCBP Makati, on FB page of BCBP-SMMR (South Metro Manila Region)

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