How can one rise above the perversity of his own generation? A quotation says, “If you cannot beat them, join them.” Many people believe this is the only way to survive in a rat-race-like workplace. However, people of integrity do not allow the wickedness of their environment to drive their behavior and shape their character.
Integrity has two kinds: cultural and Biblical. Cultural integrity answers the question, “How can roses grow out from the ashes?” This question stems from the fact that a person’s environment is crucial in his or her molding process and the development of his character. In short, the environment forms a person’s background and dictates the formation of his core values comprising his character. Convincing as it may be at any rate, the fact still remains that a person has the choice whether to maintain pure and clean in the midst of filth.
Consider the lotus Flower. From the outside, the lotus looks perfect. However, a more in-depth observation would make us realize that a lotus Flower grows out of the mud and stays afloat even in the midst of dirty waters. When water drops on the petals, the water easily slides off. Like the lotus, integrity as a character, allows one to stay clean and pure amidst corruption. Even if an irregular act seems to be normally happening in an office, a person with integrity would not allow himself to join this seemingly “normal” practice of the bureaucracy. Integrity takes a conscious choice on a person not to take part in any unlawful or immoral conduct based on an established set of standards. Integrity therefore is “unchangeableness in changeable times.” It is living within one’s absolutes regardless of the strong temptation to deviate from them.
Biblical integrity, on the other hand, goes beyond good works. It surpasses a person’s sense of righteousness by his or her own deeds. Necessarily, this places integrity out from a person’s capacity to be good as a human being. Thus, this kind of integrity is premised not on man’s own effort but Christ’s. By winning the battle against sin on the cross, Jesus made integrity (wholeness) available for all who believe. This enables one to feel whole despite the imperfection brought by his weakness as a human being.
No matter what kind of integrity a situation or environment demands, let us endeavor to walk upright for it is the only way to live right. Gain integrity by living and loving righteousness, honesty, truth, justice, and purity. As the Word says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” How about you, what would you rather choose?
We are people with integrity. We are not defined by our surroundings, friends or things that we accumulate in life. We are who the Lord says who we are as written in the Holy Scriptures. Our integrity not only depends on our good works but also on what Christ has done for us. We are whole. We are not a generation whose completeness depends on man’s approval. From now on, we endeavor to live with integrity, work with integrity and walk with integrity, not only in words but also in mind and in deeds. So help us God.
Almighty God, help us to look at ourselves and our fellow human beings the way You look at us. Allow us to understand that our integrity is not a result of our good works and our own righteousness. In our workplace, help us to walk with integrity and allow us to maintain contact without contamination. Help us to set the trend of living in righteousness even in the midst of temptation, sin, wickedness and corruption. Help us to walk uprightly. “Not by might nor by power but by Your Spirit.” In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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