People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
Proverbs 10:9 (NLT)
According to the online dictionary, integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. I simply say that integrity is doing the right thing even while nobody is watching.
This is easier said than done. Many people, without knowing it, still live with a high degree of approval addiction. We want people to recognise us and see what we do. This desire for approval can easily bring us to a point of compromise.
Compromise is like a bad smell. It bothers you in the beginning, but you soon get so used to it that you don’t notice it anymore. Then you will walk around with this really bad smell stuck to you and can’t figure out why “clean” people avoid you. It is time to take a shower and get your integrity back in place.
Here is an exercise I regularly do with those I coach. Take the five main areas of your life: Spirit, soul, body, relationships and finances. For each area, give yourself a mark out of 10 for how you FEEL about it. Do not rate it based upon the fruit you see, but how satisfied you currently feel about it.
With 0 being “can’t get any worse” and 10 being “Even God can’t be happier about it” rate each area with the following in mind.
Is this balanced and healthy.? Living healthy physically will involve rest, exercise and healthy eating. We can use this same analogy for all the different areas. What does your diet look like, your practice and yoursabbath? You list could look something like this
I’m not giving this list as a prescription, but an example.
Now take this list and rate yourself according to how you feel you are doing. The reason you need to rate the feeling and not the success is simple. You might do well according to others’ opinions, but you might be functioning completely outside of your designed purpose from God. You might be a very successful entrepreneur but unfulfilled in your business. You might be the employee of the month in your department, but you were actually called to be a missionary. This will rate you as successful, but leave you feeling unfulfilled.
When you rate yourself based on success, you will keep other people's’ opinions in mind. There is nothing in life that can derail you from God’s purpose in your life than fearing the opinions of others. So, be honest in your rating according to your feeling of satisfaction.
Now transfer your rating to a wheel. Draw a circle with pizza slices. Each slice represents an area of your life. Your wheel can have only the five slices of the main areas, or you can choose to have an individual slice for each of the portions in the table.
Then, with the centre of the wheel being 0 and the circumference 10, colour each area with your rating. It should look something like this image.
Now ask yourself the question: “If this is the wheel of my life, how smooth is my life going?” I’m pretty sure that you will be able to say that the part of the circle which is the smallest, is where you usually get stuck. This should be the first place where you need to get some help. No, not where you should work on, but get some help.
To get an outside opinion and coaching on the area of your smallest rating is important. If you are going to be honest with yourself, you need to acknowledge that you don’t know how to make this work for you. If you did, the score would not be so low.
Integrity will help you to be honest. Do not deceive yourself. Do the right thing. Get help in this area of your life and get your life in balance.