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Honestly, You Need Integrity

Be the person God wants and expects you to be.

By Norman Vincent Peale

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Complete honesty, complete integrity, is almost tangible. Whenever you encounter it in people, you know you can trust them. This ability to inspire trust and confidence is often a factor in their success. And honesty isn’t just the best policy, it’s what God wants—and expects—from you. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17).

One of the characters in the Bible that we most often associate with bad luck, with suffering, is also most noted for his integrity. Job lost everything he had—possessions, family, even his health. Yet God said of him, “He still maintains his integrity” (Job 2:3).

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Job held fast to his faith in God and in the goodness and mercy of God’s plan. His wife yelled, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). But Job didn’t. And when his friends tried to bully him into admitting that he had brought all this on himself because of his great sin, Job held fast. “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live” (Job 27:5-6). You know how the story ends. God stepped in, chastising the friends and restoring to Job twice as much as he had before. Integrity always finds its reward.

Integrity relates to character, honesty and fidelity—all products of accepting God’s standards for right living. “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you” (Psalm 25:21). Remember, nothing wrong ever turns out right. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).

And if you do find yourself on a course of dishonesty, STOP IT AT ONCE. No excuses, no delaying tactics. Right the wrong as fully and as fast as you are able and resolve never to be dishonest again. “Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner” (Proverbs 13:6).

Get forgiveness from the person you wronged and from God. Forgive yourself and put it in the past. Pray for the strength to consistently “set an example by doing what is good…show integrity” (Titus 2:7).

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