Like all of the other habits of character, Integrity is a choice. Most often, choosing Integrity involves a personal cost.
Choosing Integrity means:
Our actions match our words.
We keep our commitments to others even when they become inconvenient.
We speak up for the right thing even when it could make us unpopular.
Though the cost may be high, the reward is trust. Others are confident to follow our actions as we consistently display we are who we said we are, do what we said we would do and act in ways which are good, right and proper. Sometimes this means we stand alone. But, choosing the road less traveled now leads us to become the leader others want to emulate and follow.
Integrity requires three steps:
Know: Discerning what is right and wrong.
Do: Acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost.
Say: Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right and wrong.
Knowing right and wrong is the simplest of the three steps. If we are unsure how to act we must seek wise counsel from more experienced people—people whose judgement we trust.
Stating our intent to act in accordance to what is right confirms we are going to do what we said we would. Verbalizing it grants us one additional layer of accountability.
Additionally, it allows us an opportunity to speak up for what is right in an instance where others would rather stay quiet. In all scenarios, speaking in accordance with Integrity builds our character.
Dig Deep Questions
When do you feel it is the most difficult to choose Integrity?
Why is it difficult, at times, to discern what is right and wrong?
How does verbalizing your intent to exercise Integrity provide accountably?
Is there someone with whom you could share your intent to exercise Integrity? If so, who?
Which of the three steps do you think is the most difficult? Why?