A few weeks ago I heard a lady give a great definition of integrity. She said, “Integrity is when our values control our emotions.” Think about that for a moment. Do our values and convictions mean enough to us to control our emotions when life doesn’t go our way? What are your values? I have seen people who have just received horrific news, but were still able to maintain control over their emotions. I’ve also seen those who have received unpleasant news and went ballistic. It’s really difficult dealing with people who live in emotional inconsistency. When they are feeling good they treat you well and when they are feeling bad they’re grouchy, snippy and difficult to be around. This person may be you. I want you to know that just because you are having a bad day does not give you the right to stomp on others. Grow up!
So what’s the difference between one who has integrity and one who hasn’t? Maturity. There are several factors that contribute to the lack of development in our growth. Naturally our background and those who modeled adulthood had an influence. Mistreatment and abuse definitely affect us. Eventually, we have to come to a point of accepting responsibility for ourselves and quit blaming others.
Many years ago a good name was revered as a must. Part of the reason for this is because towns were small and if you were to cheat someone or take part in a corrupt business deal, it would spread quickly and you could lose your livelihood fast. The other reason, people knew the value of a “Good Name.” A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22:1 In present day it seems like for the most part this is a thing of the past. The value system now is based on, “Can I get away with it?”
Another definition of integrity is to choose to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Many of the physical problems, depression, sleep disorders, eating disorders and many other struggles we endure today are based on not having a clear conscience. We attempt to justify, minimize or flat out lie to ourselves hoping to feel better, but it just doesn’t work.
The name “Mensch” is a German and a Yiddish word. The Yiddish definition means, “A person of good character and integrity.” Even though I’ve failed to live up to this name many times throughout my life, I do desire and work towards living up to my name. More importantly I also carry the name “Christian.” This name means more to me because I represent Christ. My desire is to love others the way God loves me and carry His name with honor and integrity.