We've been looking at the secrets to healthy relationships and another one is the secret of integrity. Integrity is deciding to integrate my heart's values into my daily actions. It is the feeling that you get when you know what you're doing is right, that's integrity.
Notice in that definition the word "deciding". That's the key. You don't slip into integrity. Nobody every said, "Oops, I fell into integrity." It's something you decide on in life. So how do you decide on integrity in your relationships, the kind of integrity that builds a solid, secure foundation for relationships?
It's important; God placed a very high value on integrity. Proverbs 28:6 (NKJV), "Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than one perverse in his ways though he be rich." GOD says integrity is a lot more valuable than all the stuff I think is valuable.
I Chronicles 29:17 (NIV), "I know, my GOD, that YOU test the heart and are pleased with integrity." It is one of the things that makes GOD happy, that makes GOD smile.
Integrity is important to GOD but it's important to all of us too. All of us want to have integrity between my heart's values and my daily actions. We struggle when we don't. It's one of the ways we see how important it is to us, the fact that we struggle when we don't see those two fitting together. We all live with this issue of integrity, with some I call "the frustration gap". That is the gap between my heart's values and my daily actions. We all struggle with that.
Gallup did a poll that said the number one problem Americans face is incongruent values. We say "I don't want to be materialistic" but then we spend a lot of money. We say "I want to spend a lot of times with my kids, that's important, it's a value in my life" but we just can't find the time. We say "Important, intimate conversations with my husband/wife is of value" but we go weeks not having those kind of conversations. We struggle with that.
Just a thought from the front porch…