Integrity

Psalm 51:6

"Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within" (HCSB).

"Integrity" is one of those words that--I must confess--I don't fully understand. Were I asked to give a definition I'd be hard-pressed to do so. What does it mean? 

According to Dictionary.com, integrity is:

"adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty; the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished; a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition."

It is related to the word "integrate," which means: "to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole." In other words we might say that an integrated life is one that is "well put together." 

Sometimes a good way to understand a thing is to understand what it isn't. Integrity is the opposite of a life that is non-intergrated. We have all met some of those individuals who have the ability to "compartmentalize" their lives. They have no problem completely separating their moral life from their spiritual life, or their business from their family life. They can lie at work, yet teach children in Sunday School the value of honesty, and see no discrepancy in their behavior. They can flirt at work, yet be loving at home, without feeling conflicted. Their lives are divided into compartments that are totally unrelated to each other. Therefore they can function in one way in the "work" compartment, and a totally different way in the "family" compartment, and feel no angst about their hypocrisy. They have no integrity. 

I had an Old Testament professor in seminary named Dr. George Harrison. Dr. Harrison once said that "integrity is a life that revolves around a single center." I should have asked him what he meant! But I do have my own interpretation. If Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives, that means He is Lord of every part of our lives. We do not allow Him access to one compartment of our lives, and deny Him access to another. We do not allow Him oversight of our family life, but deny Him oversight of our financial life. If Jesus is indeed "Lord" of our lives, that means He is at the center of every thing we are and do. Our entire lives--every area of our lives--every facet of our lives--is submitted to Him. He is Lord of my time, my money, my business, my family, my free time... everything! Therefore I am in secret what I am in public. There is no discrepancy, no disharmony in my life. All my life revolves around Him. 

No wonder this is what God desires! Is He the core of your life, the single center around which all of your life revolves?