This concept of integrity has been on my mind and heart lately.  Questions about what it really means and how it applies in our lives as Christians. I began to study things related; I began to ponder who I've known that displayed integrity, or what I thought was integrity. I invite you all to give this some thought. It has been an interesting study.

Being a teacher I tend to follow a pattern when I study a subject. I look for definitions that we all can relate to. I look for background on a subject. I look for applications within the scope of my subject of study.  So, following my pattern, I looked for the worldly definition of this word integrity...

Wikipedia refers to integrity as a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.  And further, The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the good values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold. and then...
In the Bible, the Hebrew word translated “integrity” in the Old Testament means “the condition of being without blemish, completeness, perfection, sincerity, soundness, uprightness, wholeness.” Integrity in the New Testament means “honesty and adherence to a pattern of good works.”
I then looked for application of this concept of integrity in the scriptures and found quite a bit, but in Proverbs and Titus the biblical wisdoms spoke the loudest to me...consider the following scriptures

Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who
makes his ways crooked will be found out.  This tells me that integrity is secure and the opposite of dishonesty.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. I see here that the character displayed through a heart guided by integrity can keep us from destruction.

Proverbs 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall. I understand that those without integrity; honesty and good moral character; will fall.
And, finally, for this study we see in Titus 2:7-8 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.  Does that mean that some will never have anything evil to say about us? No, we know that evil and gossip is often a way some use to hurt us...but, it DOES mean that our good moral character, our credibility, our INTEGRITY will be such that there will be no proof behind the evil attacks. In this we can feel confidant.

I'm learning already that to be a Christian that displays what God asks we are to have integrity in our lives...or, more accurately BE a man or woman of integrity, because I've come to understand that integrity is not something we can put on and take off. Integrity is what we are, not what we do. It is our good moral code.
Jesus was our perfect example of one with PERFECT integrity. He is our example. We will not be perfect, but we know who we look to.

Spend some time to reflect on those in our lives who are men and women of integrity. They are easy to spot now that you know what to look for. They are people who are honest and have good moral character. They are consistent in that character. They are often ones who are lied about, attacked and gossiped about. They are ones who stand for truth in spite of heavy ridicule. They are Christians that do not strike back when they have a worldly right to. They are ones that love and respect themselves enough to know who they follow and not let the ugliness of others to cause them to loose that integrity that IS who they are.

So, when we who are not perfect like our Lord are considering what we aspire to, let us consider that word integrity, and understand the God that blessed us with a choice of what we can be.


Titus 3:10 - "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that have nothing to do with them." 

What does divisive mean? Simply, it means those who create dissension or discord. Why is this such a destructive force? Simply, it DIVIDES people.  When a church is called to unity, this is the opposite behavior.  Unity is a big topic in the words that God left for Christians to follow.  It was a problem in some churches in the 1st century.  It is a problem in our church today.  Take some time to read the scriptures on unity.  Guard your hearts against a divisive person who destroys unity.  They are there.  They are wolves in sheep's clothing.  Matthew 7:15 - "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves".  Wolves seek to separate and kill their prey.  Wolves seek to divide.  This is their nature. 

I Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 17:21; Philippians 2:3; Amos 3:3; Ephesians 4:3; II Corinthians 7:1; well, you get the idea...there is MUCH about unity!

What kinds of things do divisive people do to divide a group, and what are some reasons they may want to do this?  BIG QUESTIONS! There are probably as many answers to this question as their are people who divide, but if we look at the purest motives it would seem that selfishness is at the root of all of it.  James 3:14-16 - "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." They want what THEY want.  They seek to either obviously or, worse, subversively get their way.  This can be through gossip, Ephesians 4:29 - "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." through false kindness to others with the intent to "win" their victim over to "their side", they may even try to blackmail others in a way to "force" their "WAY" on to I said the list can be endless. 

What do we do beyond having nothing to do with a divisive person.  One who seeks to live in dark places in their heart?  Ephesians 5:11 - "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." Read vs. 1-11...get a picture of what God wants of us as His children.  Exposing darkness in behaviors of others who seek to divide and conquer; exposing the divisive; is important in order for unity to be reestablished.  God was clear on these things. 
And, though this topic covered is in NO way all inclusive, one final thought for this is to remember our motivations when we work to eliminate divisive people, and darkness within our midst, is our true motive should be LOVE.  Love of the brethren, Love of our Lord, Love of His words, Love of ourselves in what kind of Godly person we strive to be.  However folks, LOVE is not weak, and it sometimes looks harsh.  Confused about this part?  Think of when you discipline your children...