May 23, 2024

What the Bible Teaches us About Integrity

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As with many abstract terms, it can be hard to articulate how to maintain integrity. For me, integrity means that a person acts consistently honest and true to their morals, whether in private or in public. Think of our modern social media influencers; they may present themselves as living a perfect life while hiding their struggles and flaws. Many people often hide behind a false image of themselves, but we need to be authentic, honest and open to sharing our flaws and struggles with our mentee/supervisee when appropriate. 

Within the Scriptures

In Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV), he speaks to the Pharisees about their presentation:

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Similarly, in Acts 5 (NLT), there is the story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira who sold a block of and claimed they had given all the proceeds to the apostles. In truth, they kept part of it for themselves but wanted to appear more charitable than they really were. Peter called them out, saying: 

3 “Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

The Simple Truth

This couple could have simply been honest with God and their friends, and told the truth; they wanted to share some of the land but not all of it. They may not have been praised as they wished, but it was the truth. As mentors, we need to be who we truly are, flaws and all—we are all on a journey of grace, forgiveness and transformation. Living honestly and openly allows a mentee/supervisee to see that we have integrity and this makes us more trustworthy in their eyes. 

Approaching sessions with integrity and honesty will also help to prevent your client from feeling that you are judging their actions and beliefs, as well as serve as a reminder to yourself to refrain from judgment. Jesus reminds us in John 8:7-11 when he is asked to cast judgment on an adulteress, deciding whether or not the woman should be stoned to death, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”(NIV) None of us are so perfect that we should feel comfortable condemning those around us. 

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you have any discrepancies between your public life and your private life? 
  • Am I presenting as something I am not? 
  • Do I have anything I ought to disclose to those around me? 
  • Who can help me align my values and behaviour? 

What’s next:

Continue reading with these articles…

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