Integrity - It starts with you and me
As we lament the misdemeanours of some public figures, Jane Walters urges us to strive to follow Jesus’ example and be people of integrity.
As I write this, another political scandal is in the news: Boris Johnson is under the spotlight regarding the alleged breach of lockdown rules during the pandemic. Frankly, it’s nothing new. On any given day, a public figure will have his or her behaviour challenged, their integrity brought into question. Some may shrug, ‘What’s the big deal? They’re only human;’ while others metaphorically bay for their blood. But I find myself responding differently…
I’ve been following a new Lent book this year. Images of Grace by Amy Scott Robinson offers no-holds-barred but softened-with-grace reflections on aspects of sin, forgiveness, and redemption. Her take on the parable of the Prodigal Son (where she focusses on the pigs) contained a powerful thought. She observed how we often illustrate this story’s points with larger-than-life tales of people who have royally messed up their lives, resulting in humiliation – never mind humility – and shame before ultimately being restored. The danger, though, is that we end up concentrating on these “other people” and neglect to apply the principles to ourselves.
It's easy, isn’t it, to point the finger at the TV screen or at the photo on the newspaper page? But what about the half-lie we told yesterday to get ourselves out of an awkward spot? The stretching of boundaries to accommodate what we wanted to do when it wasn’t, strictly speaking, allowed? The turning a blind eye to our own indiscretions, giving ourselves excuses as to why we had exceptional reasons for behaving as we did?
Think for a moment what our society would look like if integrity was at its heart. The dictionary definition of integrity is: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; and the state of being whole or undivided.
Imagine if everyone we met could be trusted; if we could leave belongings unattended and know they would be there upon our return. What effect would it have on our marriages, our families, our school, and workplaces if everyone looked out for each other and believed the best at all times because we knew everyone was being their best?
This all sounds rather cloud-cuckoo land, doesn’t it? But the fact is, unless we start with ourselves, the world around us is unlikely to change for the better. Jesus called twelve men to follow Him, to watch how He lived and to copy His example. Within generations, that message of love and living differently to the world had spread across nations. Let’s do away with our excuses and resolve to be people of integrity, who hold fast to Christ’s teachings and live them out for all to see.
The image is courtesy of pixabay.com
Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She is also vice-chair of the Association of Christian Writers. Jane leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: janewyattwalters.com
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.