Virtue: a valued principle of good moral behavior; a holy habit.
Vice: a practice of wrongdoing, corruption of virtue; an unholy habit.
Integrity: Honesty and reliability in all things; consistency in the face of difficult circumstances. Integrating truth and action with body, mind, spirit and heart.
Hypocrisy: Pretending to have virtues or moral beliefs that one doesn't actually have.
We get the word Integrity from the Latin adjective integer which means whole, complete, in sound condition. So for our discussion, integrity is wholeness in qualities as honesty, consistency of character.
What does it mean to live with integrity in our modern world?
Some people think they "have integrity" as long as they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they clam to hold. That's not necessarily a good thing because those values and personal principles may be immoral.
While living in addiction, I insisted on being honest with my kids about my lifestyle so as not to be a hypocrite. I was living consistent with my values and beliefs but it was a life far from integrity!
This month we've been working Step 5: Admitting our wrongs to God, ourselves and another human being. We've also looked at Anne Paulk's book Restoring Sexual Identity. Coming clean to another person about your most shameful wrongs and stepping out of an unwanted lifestyle require tremendous Integrity.
Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. ~ Psalm 25:21 NIV
We think we can be accepted as long as we try to be what others want us to be. Deep down we want to be different but fear and cowardice stop us. Only with God's help can we stop pretending, living a self-divided, not knowing who we really are.
"Integrity is a natural wholeness that opens the door to supernatural holiness." ~ Donald DeMarco
Once we desire to live a life pleasing to God and not man, we will learn His requirements and strive to live by them. Integrity - being what we say we are - keeps us from claiming to be upright while living as if we don't know God.
Do you struggle with integrity in certain areas of your life?
Reach out to God for strength as you watch or listen to Travis Ryan's video below...
Be Fearless with Integrity. Watch Travis Ryan http://youtu.be/e2ZtkVpx0F0
Christian Virtue by Patty Woodmansee
The Heart of Virtue by Donald DeMarco
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy