1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.
To me, more than anything else, integrity implies wholeness, or a state of living where your actions and choices line up with your values, beliefs, and priorities. I am constantly striving toward this state of wholeness.
For example, I truly believe that as Christians we are called to be good stewards of Creation. God has set man in dominion over the plants and animals, and we are supposed to be responsible and care for them. I’m not sure, but as far as stewardship goes, I think this might fall under the theological “Rule of Firsts.” So, even though it is impossible to live on this planet without leaving any kind of footprint, I am doing my best to make choices that reflect my belief that we are called to be good stewards of Creation.
There are other, more complicated areas where I am trying to practice this principle. I believe that life priorities fall in the following order: God, spouse/family, work/ministry, everything else. And when my husband and I have kids, the second section will be spouse, kids, extended family, then work/ministry, and everything else.
But being whole in this area is incredibly difficult. Every day I am demanded upon, whether it is work deadlines or school demands or life responsibilities. Being in ministry compounds this, because people demands always fall into the urgent/important category. It is so easy to put my relationship with God last, or to put my relationship with Chris last. Because God and Chris aren’t in my face, demanding my time like the rest of the world. They are the least demanding and the most important.
The Bible calls us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and that is what I am striving to do in this area. To walk in integrity, to be whole.