The POWER of Integrity

Have you ever wondered about the extremely low level of integrity in today's societies? Have you ever wondered about the increasing number of people, organizations, businesses and even governments who give their words so easily without any intention of upholding it? Have you ever wondered about the hate, distrust and discomfort created by those who make no effort to be responsible for their responsibilities, accountable for their accountabilities? What about the obvious lack of integrity demonstrated by medical doctors who smoke, law enforcement officers who accept bribes, politician and public servants who embezzle public funds, judges who withhold information about conflict of interest during judgment, mechanics who steal working engine pieces from your automobile and Christians who consistently use foul languages? While the lack of integrity demonstrated by the politicians may be very obvious because of the media (whose integrity is also a question by the way), this is an outbreak, an epidemic that can only be contained individually. Beside still ironically visible in national anthems, flags, pledges, and courthouses, or being associated with statistical data, it has almost disappeared from our daily lives - including schools which should be a place to learn it, and religious organizations which should be a place to exemplify it. These days, you don't have to look far before finding someone bent on selling you something under false pretence, someone trying to get a job with a falsified resume, someone telling a lie to look good, someone attempting to assume the credit of another, employees trying to short-change time and resources from their employees, employers overworking their employees with the duties of other employees that were retrenched, and even pastors and evangelists who expect way more sacrifice from their congregations than they (the pastors and evangelists) are willing to offer, sometimes, even more than the Bible suggests. Integrity is honesty, truthfulness, openness; it is the steadfast adherence to strict moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.

Words like white lie, partial truth and blue collar crimes were formed by those bent on diluting the definition of integrity. Basically, your integrity is questioned when you make promises and don't keep them; when you say something and do something else; when you think and see things that you shouldn't; when you are present in places that you should be absent, and absent from places that you should be present; and when you make no remarkable effort to adhere to your responsibilities as a person, spouse, parent, worker, leader, supervisor, manager, pastor, evangelist, business owner - and even as a business and non-profit, religious and educational organizations. A false sense of integrity is easily derived when we compare ourselves to other people. A truer sense, however, is easily derived when we compare ourselves to what is generally expected of us, especially those undocumented responsibilities that come with where we find ourselves in life. The level of desire, determination, dedication and diligence that we apply to our collective responsibilities in life is the truest measure of our integrity. Your integrity is questioned by your actions and inactions, by your noise and silence, by your engagement and disengagement.

Thus, before we point a finger at another person, it is wise to look at the mirror and measure our own integrity. How many voicemails or e-mails are you yet to respond to? What about the feedback you often promise yourself to offer to an outreach like this? If you struggle with the mere human expectation of responding when being contacted, you are likely struggling in other areas as well. Before accusing the local pastor of mismanaging the funds of his church, you should question your integrity regarding your household finances; how well are you managing the funds that God has blessed you and your family with. Before you accuse your local doctor of inappropriate behaviour with his or her patients, you should question the integrity of your own behaviours when you think no one is watching - the websites you surf, bodies and images that you lust after, the devious plans you execute in 'secret'.

How often do you look at others inappropriately, how often do you think of the nakedness of those who are fully clothed? When Jesus Christ said, "Let he who have not sinned throw the first stone", this is what he meant - to be mindful of our unfair quickness to accuse others especially when we also lack integrity. My friend, if you must show off something, let it be your integrity, for it is the most precious item you can ever have; let it be your quickness to respond to others, to fulfill your responsibilities, and the diligence with which you execute your obligations. In the words of Martin Luther King, "an unexamined life is not worth living!" He continued by saying that, "A man should do his work so well that even the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better". My question to you today is "What would be said of your integrity at your funeral?" Don't you know that it is in death that a man's true worth is made known? His true character only becomes obvious when he's gone.

Until then, we can only speculate. I am determined about a lot of things in life, including my life purpose of educating, encouraging, coaching, and exhorting people like you to greater heights, my determination to help people get to their next level of development; but even more important is my desire to ensure that my life and doctrine are closely aligned with each other, my determination to live in such a way that when my children think of me, they think of integrity - along with faith, passion, diligence and fun! How are you modelling integrity for your family, boss, employees, peers, employers, congregation, community, and everyone else around you? At The Exhortation Institute of Life and Business Skills, we have developed some effective techniques on how to measure and improve your Personal Integrity, Leadership Integrity, Marital Integrity, Parental Integrity, Spiritual Integrity, Relationship Integrity, Health and Wellness Integrity, Academic Integrity, Financial Integrity, Career Integrity, Organizational Integrity, and even Communal Integrity; so contact us now if you wish to improve your personal satisfaction, and be more respected and appreciated in these and other areas of your life and business. Whenever we release a newsletter like this, we always receive so many feedbacks from so many people in so many countries expressing their desire to seize one of the numerous developmental opportunities that we offer, but only a few often follow through on these promises that they make to themselves, only a few follow up on their own innermost desire to be more effective, more fulfilled in life. Consider these compelling words of Jesus Christ: "Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it." The reason why integrity remains the most distinct characteristics that sets people apart from the crowd is because it no longer a common human trait.

According to Francis Bacon Sr., the 15th Century English Philosopher, "It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity." Basically, we build integrity for ourselves by fostering those principles that everyone admires but only a few have the courage to assume. From my experience as a Life Coach, I have come to realize that we never fall short of any goal, but rather the passion required to keep the goal alive, the effort required to maintain a forward momentum, the integrity required to garner the necessary support, the diligence required to tighten loose ends and the openness required to accommodate other people's opinions.

As a fellow citizen of earth, I have realized that what will be truly said of us when we depart this world will be reflective of either our selfishness or selflessness, our cowardice or courage, our laziness or determination, our falsehood or integrity. The people who are not guided by principles and integrity do anything, watch anything, listen to anything, say anything, read anything, play with anything, go anywhere, and then end up dying for nothing. My friend, we exhort you to measure and improve your integrity everyday while you are still alive, for it is your key to personal satisfaction, effectiveness, and fulfilment both in this world and in the world to come. Copyright (c) 2008 The Exhortation Life and Business Coaching Service.

"This article about integrity is a must-read for everyone who desire personal effectiveness, fulfillment, and satisfaction, as well as the respect and appreciation of others. It will help you better understand what integrity truly means, whether you have it or not, how to attain or lose it, and what it can do for you in a world that regrettably lacks it."


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