Character and Integrity Part 1

July 20, 2009 at 9:40 am | Posted in character and integrity | 13 Comments
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Integrity is a quality of “soundness.” It comes from the idea that an “integer” is something that is “whole,” or “complete.” When something has integrity, nothing can get inside it and mess it up. Example: A real football has integrity. It can get wet on the outside, but not on the inside.

wet football

A Nerf football has no integrity.

https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/nerfball.jpg?w=300

If it gets wet, the inside will get all soggy.

When it comes to people, integrity is determined by what we do when no one is watching.

[A Psalm of David.] Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

Psalm 26:1

It’s easy to have integrity when everyone’s watching. Pretend that we are in a room, and I show you a container, and tell you that inside is something very valuable, very exciting, very personal to me, and very secret.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Pr30NcolQz8/TW2pE_EFOnI/AAAAAAAAKPg/KXuodAX31TM/mystery.jpg

If I left the room, and told you not to look in the container, would you be tempted to take a peek? Probably not if other people were watching, but what if you were left completely alone with the container, and no one would know?

https://i2.wp.com/dianechamberlain.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/sneak-peek-at-gift.jpg

That’s a test of integrity. Integrity is between you and God.

“Character” is a little different. Character is the combination of qualities that make you the “type” of person you are. If you are honest, hardworking, always on time, you have a trustworthy character. If you are selfish, unfair, sneaky, you have a greedy character.

Integrity is between you and God. Character goes into how other people perceive you.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Proverbs 22:1

We might say that your character is what kind of name you have – what you are known for.

Does God want us to have integrity? Yes.

The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Psalm 7:8

Now, let’s examine what kind of character God wants us to have.

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

I Samuel 16:7

When God looks at us, He sees more than just our physical appearance; He sees us in light of the things we do, and our reason for doing those things, and our true attitude while we do them.

God does care about the appearance of the things we do.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

I Thessalonians 5:22

One reason why God is concerned about the outward appearance of our actions is because we have an influence on others. People in general often adopt the actions of others with whom we spend time. People who hang out together often wear the same clothes, use the same language, and listen to the same music.

One reason that I need to spend time with Jesus – praying, reading my Bible – is that, if I spend time with Him, I’ll start to act like Him.

Many times, we have a challenge when we have an opportunity to do something that might not necessarily be “wrong” in and of itself, but would appear questionable to others. Our challenge is to remember that Christians are being watched by others, and we are supposed to be the “salt of the earth.” Salt adds flavor, but it also has an astringent quality, a cleansing quality. And it has preserving quality.

Christians have a responsibility to God, to ourselves, and to others.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

II Timothy 2:2

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13 Comments »

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  1. […] “Integrity” is living what you believe. It is inconsistent for me to encourage my children with principles I don’t really believe. And it is inconsistent for me to enforce rules on my children I am not willing to follow myself. Parents need to be careful about saying one thing and doing another. As Pastor John Wilkerson says, what I allow in moderation, my children will practice in excess. What I dabble in, my children will dive into. […]

  2. […] material things we have examined to learn something about character and integrity. We said that an official NFL football has more integrity than a Nerf football, because water will easily seep into a Nerf, but a real football has a quality of soundness and […]

  3. […] here,” said the boss, “this company has a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness. I’m shocked at your […]

  4. […] mood purely without reason; the King of Kings deals justly with all on the basis of His unchanging character. (Malachi […]

  5. […] read our minds. When a Christian works hard for an earthly employer, with a humble heart, even when no one else is watching, he or she has this promise from the Lord: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the […]

  6. […] Christian character But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, […]

  7. […] have their names preserved for all time in God’s Word, along with the honor of having their character and integrity mentioned. By the same token there are others who were not worthy to have their names preserved in […]

  8. […] commitments, we gain the right kind of “experience” and we develop the right kind of character. Our character then governs our […]

  9. […] we looked at the principle of commitment in servant leadership. Commitment will produce character. Character involves not only a person’s integrity (how he behaves when no one is watching), but it also […]

  10. […] Satan is a lot of things. He’s a trickster. He’s a conniver. He’s a liar. He’s a deceiver. But he’s not a compromiser. When he is against something – and make no mistake about it, he is against the truth – he is against it all the way. He hates all integrity. […]

  11. […] even as the darkness encroaches ever more tightly upon us? We will speak boldly and live with integrity so that we become a refuge for the heathens when they see the futility of fighting against the real […]

  12. […] or proposed a plan of action, that, upon closer scrutiny, is faulty, and lacks the consistency or integrity to be relied […]

  13. […] Part One (introduction and definitions of character and integrity; illustration: Nerf football vs. NFL football) * Part Two (David; illustration: Zip-lock bag vs. bird cage) Part Three (Mary) Part Four (Daniel; illustration: steel ball vs. Play-Doh) Part Five (Jephthah’s daughter) Part Six (Jesus; illustration: a straight wall vs. a crooked wall) […]


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