Integrity. Integrity with transparency. These two words are very rich in meaning.
In Spanish, the word integrity comes from a Latin word that means whole. We use that word to emphasize completeness. I have two illustrations with me to clarify what I am trying to define.
I have here whole wheat flour. The reason why I know it's whole is because I did it myself. I took the grains, I grinded them, and I didn't pour anything in it. In other words, in the milling process, nothing was taken out, nothing was poured in. This is complete. It’s not fake; it’s real. This is whole wheat flour. The same meaning of integrity.
Another meaning for the word integrity in Spanish is pure. I also have something to illustrate that. I have here pure honey. Now, pour honey, as you can see, is thick, and in winter, it gets granulated. You can see with the close up of the camera that you can see granules there. This honey has not been heated. It has not been diluted. Therefore, it’s pure; another meaning of the word integrity.
Now, in Hebrew and in Greek, there's also the same meaning: complete, blameless, full measure, innocent, upright, incorruptible (not perishable).
When we apply all these meanings to character, we get integrity.
A person with integrity is a person with wholeness of character. He or she is complete, with good attributes like honor, justice, morality, righteousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness, solidarity, rectitude, purity of mind, and purity in actions.
Wow! This core value is very strong, very important, and frankly, rarely seen. However, we believe as a conference that it needs to be an integral part of who we are as individuals and also as an institution. It should be part of our ideal to reach.
The Bible makes it very clear that this is the most important thing in serving God.
The New International Version uses two English words that embrace all these meanings.
In 2 Chronicles 19:9, it reads: He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.”
Jesus, in the New Testament, while explaining this, He said in Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
We can see there “wholeness.” This is a state of being whole and undivided with God. That’s integrity.
David, the psalmist, he understood this when he wrote Psalm 19. In verse 13, he wrote: “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.”
This is precious, because when we show integrity, God rejoices.
Psalm 33:1 tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”
You know, integrity is tested every day. But it’s tested more so when the stakes are high, when the pressure is on, when our own interests clash with the interests of the mission we are sent to accomplish.
We show integrity when our numbers are right, when our reports are accurate, when we are transparent, and when our actions match our words.
We believe what the most prolific woman writer in America wrote in the book of Education, page 57: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men [and women]—men [and women] who will not be bought or sold, men [and women] who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men [and women] who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men [and women] whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men [and women] who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”
May I suggest to you today that if we serve and follow God with integrity, that is wholeheartedly and faithfully, and if we pray David’s prayer asking God to keep us from willful sin, he will make us men and women of integrity.
In our conference, we value and recognize the transforming power of God's word in our lives as we pursue wholeness in our character. We will not be bought or sold, because we are sold out for Christ. Therefore we love Him wholeheartedly.
Thanks for watching today. I encourage you to join us as we seek, with God’s help, to live lives of integrity as we serve Him. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and we’ll see you next time. God bless you.