By Juliet Rogers, Sierra Leone
Integrity is the term used to define that laudable characteristic in a person which enables him to show reliability, efficiency and honesty in his deliberations. For a man to be successful in life, he must possess a reasonable amount of good and admirable character that borders on trustworthiness. Without an adequate degree of integrity, there can be no trust. Integrity denotes the possession of uprightness and honesty in a person which earn him credibility in the eyes of his fellow men.
In general terms, integrity is when you posses those true attributes of God demonstrated by your agape love for your fellow man, your being just and honest with your daily deliberations and when you eventually refrain from evil, without being found wanting.
In other words, it is God’s heartbeat for his servants to live a life of uprightness (integrity) despite the numerous challenges that we face in life. To butress this point, there is a famous biblical statement that,
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings and not before mean men.”
The above self-explicit Biblical quotation shows that with integrity goes learning, straightforwardness and hard-work.
One very important example of a person with ‘Integrity’ comes from the Bible. Job, who despite all the temptations which God in His wisdom permitted Satan to afflict on him, he was able to hold fast and to prove his “Integrity” and demonstrate constant love for God even when his own body was affected with boils. The result of his demonstrating “Integrity” was that God recompensed Job by giving him back two-folds of all what he had lost including his children and cattles.
Leaders for example are given to hold in trust by God, the Government of a people. In Isaiah 9:6-7 of the Holy Bible we are told that, “…the Government shall be upon his shoulder,” referring to “Jesus Christ.” With this realization our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ demonstrated great integrity by obeying God’s Holy word and submitting willingly to death. He rose again and sitteth on God’s right hand, meaning that, he conquered the power of death because he was a Man of integrity.
With integrity also goes obedience. Despite the threat of the burning fiery furnace of the three Jews who believed in God, stood up to their promise to serve God and him alone. Consequently, when they were cast into the lake of fire, the angel of the Lord God Almighty saved them. With integrity therefore goes salvation.
In the meantime, reflect on these words:
People are looking for men and women of integrity who would be able to influence their lives positively. With integrity, you would be able to interact with the main echelons of society, because people would undoubtedly prefer to deliberate or associate with trustworthy individuals.
Our local leaders have often fallen short of integrity and have abrogated the terms of their National Pledge. This has resulted in the occurrence of serious problems including wars and hardship. It will be recalled that because of the lack of integrity in the early days, God destoryed the world by flooding but Noah, a man of integrity who stood by him was saved together with all those who were obedient.
The major social problems facing society is the inability of people to repect the norms and codes of society. To quote an anonymous source, ‘No man is an island.’ This is more so true because the entire world is now become a global village with distinct codes of conduct through which and by which one fits equitably into society. There are quite a few laudable ways to enforce the laws and to protect the rights of every citizen. There is the Judicial Arm of Government, for instance, which is expected to regulate the behavioural patterns of society since no man is considered to be above the law. It is expected of the Judiciary being a vital Arm of Goverment to enforce the laws of society so as to prevent citizens from taking the laws into their own hands. No doubt, without a strong and independent Judiciary to stem the tides of evil in society bordering on the lack of integrity, there is obviously experienced anarchy which in turns cause great instability in society. For this reason, both the leaders and the lead are bound to exhibit an appreciable degree of integrity in order that a just and stable society will be achieved.
In a society where the bulk of the youths are engaged in drug-addiction, violence and allied social ills; it may be difficult to envisage a well-developed society characteristized by people of integrity. As political leaders continue to exhibit unbridled corruption and selfishness, it is a sad fact that the youth too, who are supposed to reflect the balance of change in any society, unfortunately because of their undeserved opulence and rapacious tendences see our political leaders epecially the President as demi-gods who have to be satisfied at all cost, even if that may means “boot leaking” and a complete lack of the required integrity to enhance moral ethos and national progress and advancement. This has resulted in fraudulent practices, over-ambition and selfishness, all negative attributes plaguing our nation. As for now, the talk of integrity among our youths and even our politicians is more of a dream rather than a reality.
To ensure that a society of decent citizens is achieved, there must be demonstrated the will power of parents to ensure that they raise up their children in a godly and straightforward manner so that when they are old, they will not depart from such godly behaviours. After all, it is the ability to demonstrate self-discipline, honesty and truth that reflects on the attitude of integrity which is per se an essential ingredient to peaceful co-existence and national stability.
The school also, where children spend most of their time, ought to be very serious with moral education. Moral education in effect means, helping to bring up the children to be upright and honest and to equip them for life. Martin Luther King Jr, the late American civil rights activist, put it best when he said, “Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wondering nowhere.” Equally so, the youths often styled as the leaders of tomorrow are the activating force by which and through which the balance of power is maintained in society. It is therefore necessary that the youths should be taught the importance of being earnest and the need for uprightness and integrity.
When Jesus tells us to “Love our neighbours as ourselves,” This means that we must endeavour to upkeep peaceful co-existence. If you love your neighbour, you would not like to see him distressed but will always endeavour to deal with him uprightly. In this connection, the lack of integrity is generally preponderant in all facets of society where there are liars, gamblers, thieves, murderers etc. It is essential for moral education to be once again included in the schools syllabus so that the child will be educated to cherish social norms which will benefit society at large and endow its citizens with integrity for life.
God’s Holy Word is very clear that whereas an upright man will live up to a ripe old age, “the soul that sinneth will die.” It is incumbent therefore upon us as God’s children not only to be dedicated in life but also to be straightforward and to cherish honesty and integrity which are indeed the hallmarks of greatness and without which no one on earth can live a successful life.
© Juliet Rogers,
Sociètal Engineer, Life&Emotional Intelligence Coah.
® All Rights Reserved.
9th February, 2018.