According to C.S. Lewis, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.’
One might think it an easy thing to do - after all don’t we all want to be known as a person whose character and word can be trusted? However, as with most simple ideas, its truth is rooted in a far deeper meaning.
In order for us to be a person who consistently does the right thing, we need to know what the right thing is. A bit obvious, you might think, and that would be true. The difficulty comes in discerning who determines the right thing. It’s the age-old question: “What is truth?”
Some would say, it’s no big deal - you just decide for yourself. If it seems right to you, and you aren’t hurting anyone else, it’s fine. Others come down on the side of feelings. On any given day, your truth can be determined by your emotional state. What is true one day, when all is well with your world, may seem all wrong when you’re feeling sad or discouraged.
Truth isn’t something that can stand on such shaky ground. It cannot shift and change according to our circumstances or feelings. We need a plumb line, a resolute moral code, by which to measure our beliefs. We cannot say something is right or wrong if truth hasn’t first been established.
Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). His word is truth. God has given us the “code book.” It will stand for all eternity. His truth never changes. It doesn’t conform to current social norms. It doesn’t change from culture to culture or age to age.It is simply and always the truth.
We need only look at the lives highlighted within the pages of scripture or the lives of the people around us to see what happens when we try to live apart from God’s truth. Time and time again a life lived disconnected from that truth tumbles into despair, while a life lived with integrity is a life lived to the fullest.
Living a life of integrity is a daily surrendering to God’s will. In our humanity popularity, convenience, fear, materialism, selfishness and the desire for comfort war against our desire to live with integrity. We often fail to make the right choices, but we have a God who forgives, forgets and redeems.
The human soul longs for the stability and freedom that comes from knowing what is true. His word is truth.
“16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” IITimothy 3: 16,17
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”