Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

May 29, 2014

Integrity matters

— There is one word which covers almost everything I want to know about anyone with whom I have any dealings. That word is “integrity.” My Webster dictionary defines integrity as firm adherence to a moral code or the quality or state of being complete.

We sometimes break this word down into its various components. We want to do business with someone who is honest. We want our friends and co-workers to be dependable. We reject those who are devious, calculating, cheaters, deceivers or outright liars.

Integrity defines character. A person may have a winsome personality, good sense  of humor, intelligence and a reputation for quality work, but if they lack integrity, they are dangerous. Someone has well-said, “Character is what you are when no one is looking.” I would add character is doing the right thing all the time, even if you could get away with doing the wrong thing.

I read a story which illustrates integrity. A New England farmer was building a stone fence with the help of his grandson. The fence began in a shallow trench, so the young boy was helping find flat stones that would fit. One of the stones he brought to his grandfather did not quite fit, and the older man rejected it. The youngster said, “Granddad, this stone will be underground and no one will ever know.”

“I’ll know and you will know,”  replied the wise and loving granddad. He taught his grandson integrity. Yes, we know and God knows if we are complete; therefore, our lives can be examined by the most critical eyes.

Nothing else matters as much about who you are, as whether or not you possess integrity.

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