What IS Integrity?
Integrity is defined as the having the qualities of honor, honesty and strong moral principles.
Integrity is doing what you say you will do WHEN you say you will do it.
Integrity is being honest and being a person of your word.
Integrity is being dependable, reliable and freely admitting when you have made an error.
Integrity is attempting to the best of your ability to correct that error as quickly as you possibly are able to do so.
In today’s world it often seems those qualities are missing. Being dependable and being a person of your word are traits that no longer appear to carry much value. Many business people don’t exhibit integrity. Businesses in general are not utilizing integrity in their practices. The world seems out of kilter in so many ways with scams, privacy invasions, stolen identities, internet thefts, information leaks that cause problems for others. Every newscast tells of yet another episode along those lines to watch out for until most of us feel we can’t trust anyone or anything.
Today in a real estate closing you sign a document and then sign yet another separate document stating you had signed the previous document. This is not a joke, it happens at closings every day and is routine.
When did things become so dishonest?
The old fashioned deals sealed with a handshake seem ludicrous in today’s world. We cannot imagine doing business like that today and yet for many years and many generations, that was normal. People referred with respect of others as “a man or woman of his/her word.” A person of INTEGRITY.
Integrity is mentioned several times in the Bible but the verse I liked best was in Proverbs, chapter 20 verse 7: “The just man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” I thought about that. Perhaps the children are blessed because they learned firsthand from the parents’ example to live with integrity.
Spiritualists should know and live with integrity. Both the 6th and 7th articles in our Declaration of Principles address the topic. Number 6 states “We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them.”
If you want to be treated with integrity, act with integrity toward others.
Principle number 7 states “We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.” If we are acting with moral responsibility we are exhibiting integrity in all our transactions. A part of the interpretation of the 7th declaration states “…Errors and wrongdoing must be outgrown and overcome. Virtue and love of good must take their place. It goes on to say individuals must bear their own burdens in overcoming wrong doings and replace them with right actions.
The newly updated Spiritualist Manual, (the Twentieth Edition of which was released in 2017) addresses Natural Law as Spiritualism’s Foundation. The gist of this is that Natural Law has as its solid foundation the Law of Cause and Effect: Every action has its own reaction…commonly known as in the saying as you sow, so shall you reap.
If we accept that belief we also realize the term Karma is yet another example of “what goes around comes around” or what we sow, so shall we reap.
We are not responsible for anyone’s’ actions except our own. We cannot change the world but at least we can set an example of what is right as best we know how. One way to do that is to live with integrity.
If we can live with integrity we are living in right accordance with the teachings of Jesus.
Perhaps that will be an example for someone in our sphere of influence!