LIVING WITH INTEGRITY

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 Sir Godfrey Gregg 

By my integrity, I am defined.

Out of that integrity

I make the choices that become my life.

A friend was sitting at a conference table with colleagues at his company. He was struggling to be understood. Their legal counsel was explaining the nuances of what was technically within the letter of the law. Finally, my friend, somewhat exasperated, said, “I’m not asking if it’s legal. I’m asking if it’s right.”

Integrity . . . it’s doing the right thing when we know it’s the right thing to do. It’s who we are. It’s being true to the lives to which we have been called. It’s who we are when someone’s watching and when there is not a soul in sight.

It’s called integrity.

Integrity is vital throughout life. Our circumstances change. We grow and mature. We are always searching for what makes us whole, for what we believe, for who we are at our finest in each of life’s challenges and joys.

This…is an appeal for personal integrity, and it is a call for moral integrity. Personal integrity is when we are authentically the persons we were created to be. It means living a life of wholeness and congruence. Moral integrity is when we do what is right simply because we know it is the right thing to do. It means living a life of character and virtue. Integrity takes both.

…My goal is to help in the discovery of what it means to live as God created us, congruent with the life to which we are called.

In…writing I tell stories. Some come from my life, while most are drawn from the lives of others. You might think of these stories as metaphors. I think of them as parables.

The parable is an interesting word. Culturally, it has been shaped to mean “a story with a lesson,” but that is so much less than what the word originally meant. Parable meant “a placing beside,” from the Greek parabole, meaning “to compare.” A parable is something placed alongside something else to compare, illuminate, and to understand it more clearly.1

Jesus’ stories were parables—stories he placed alongside the stories of our lives to illuminate them, to convey meaning and depth we might never have seen before. Think of [my] stories in this…way—stories meant for you to place beside your story, to see if it turns on any new lights or resonates with your life, your integrity.

An elderly man once spoke out of the wisdom gained from a lifetime of rich experience. “As I have aged, my priorities have changed and narrowed. I am down to one. I focus on it daily, and my life is guided by it. It is, ‘Don’t fall.’ ”

Like that elderly man, my priorities have changed as well. The longer I live, the more I, too, focus on the fundamentals. “Don’t fall”: don’t fall away from the person God created me to be. I focus on this principle daily, and my life is guided by it.

By my integrity, I am defined. Out of that integrity, I make the choices that become my life.

Author: Godfrey Gregg

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