Friday, October 22, 2010

Integrity

Psalm 41:12: “In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.”

To have integrity is to be “integrated.” Not to be fragmented, disjointed, scattered. Not to have part of yourself here and part of yourself over there. Being/feeling one way in one kind of situation, then being/feeling completely different in another situation. To have integrity means to have a consistent self, a stable self, a true self.

It’s hard to maintain integrity, to stay integrated, in our society. So much busywork, so much noise, so many advertisements and other distractions.

And we’re all tempted to lie at times, or at least to be fake. The problem with lying or being fake – in terms of spiritual health – is that it manifests a false self. It is practice in being not real, not stable. It is practicing unreality, disconnection.

To become a person of integrity we must practice integrity. We must say what we mean and mean what we say. We must be genuinely ourselves in situation after situation, relationship after relationship.

And we must follow through on our words and our commitments. If we need to be released from a commitment, then we honestly say so rather than simply not doing what we said we would do. This is another way of practicing disconnection and unreality.

As Psalm 42:12 says, integrity is key to practicing the presence of God. If we are not fully, completely present—integrated—then we cannot fully experience and enjoy the presence of God. But through our practice of integrity in faith God will set us “in [his] presence forever.”
--Rickey

7 comments:

jen said...

Rickey,
What a challenging yet encouraging post! I would like to meditate on that verse for the next few weeks; integrity is always a challenge, and being in God's presence is (usually) always my desire. I want a "consistent self, a stable self, a true self."
I've been experiencing fear recently, and it has occurred to me that it is a result of not trusting but also being somewhat fragmented. I have been focussing solely on the fear and its cure, but I would like to just focus on integrity and being in God's presence.

Thank you for writing!

living stones said...

Jen, thanks so much for commenting on my post. It's a delight "to hear your voice"! And I think your insights into fear are wise and valuable. Like you I want "to focus on integrity and being in God's presence." I'm grateful for the way we encourage and support one another in this. Rich blessings on you and Matt! Rickey

Paul Corrigan said...

Though I've never considered myself as not being a person of integrity, your definition of it here is a high mark.

I have far to go. I pray indeed that I will become integrated and that my life, then, will show that integrity in the things that I do and say.

Thank you for your post.

living stones said...

Rickey, thanks for pulling together these deeply meaningful thoughts and ideas about integrity. It's quite helpful for me to reflect once again on "practicing." Practice means it is a process, and I am committed to persevering, especially when I recognize my own unreality and disconnection. It is hard to maintain integrity, but it's pretty wonderful to share growing in the experience and presence of God together. Love, Anna

Daniel said...

Rickey, I'm thankful for your insightful words! As Anna expressed, I'm grateful to be able to practice this process in a community of others. Your post is a helpful reminder of this gift.

John Orzechowski said...

Rickey,
Thank you for this post. I agree with Paul's comment that it offers a "high mark" of what it means to be a person of integrity. You have pointed to a kind of integratedness and wholeness that I desire. I hope that I can be more aware and less easily disconnected and distracted from God and from my true self.

Mark Wills said...

This is a quite a prophetic post! Thanks for a challenging call to re-centering.

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