I saw this the other day on Facebook posted by a pastor friend of mine in the Chicago area. The title of the piece is “13 Characteristics of People Who Have True Integrity” taken from www.awarenessact.com .
As a former police officer and simply as a human being, I have tried to focus and live my life by integrity. For those not familiar with integrity I believe it is of utmost importance but sadly those that have it are a “rare breed”, according to the article. The article goes on to describe integrity like this: “It is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” This is pretty much the standard dictionary definition.
But where do these “strong moral principles” come from? Are people born with strong moral principles and therefore born with integrity or is it something deeper than that? Are good moral principles taught? And if so, where do the one doing the teaching get these principles? More than likely, we could debate this “chicken before the egg” scenario ad nauseam.
I personally believe we have a fallen and sinful nature. Recognizing this fallen nature, I don’t believe people are necessarily born with “morals” or moral character. Typically “morals” or the lack thereof are imposed on us by social constraints which don’t usually kick in until we understand the language that they are being instructed in.
For those who claim to follow Christ, these principles come from the Bible. It is our rule of faith and practice. I was brought up in the church. I learned most of my morality there through the biblical principle’s being taught. What are the morals being taught through scripture? A good start is looking at the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God Himself. But, that’s not really my focus here. I simply wanted to share these principles to see if you agree and if so how do you measure up?
I believe most of these principles are spot on. My personal struggle is with #7. I typically don’t give people the benefit of the doubt and historically I don’t try to see the good in everyone. They have to earn my trust. One of my friends believes this comes from being in law enforcement; it’s part of threat assessment.
Check them out and see what you think. If you want to be a person identified with integrity, ask yourself the tough questions. Then ask, “what you can do to change?”
- They value other people’s time.
They value their own time so they also value the time of other people. They know you have plenty of other places you need to be and won’t hold you up. If you spend time with them, it is likely they will thank you for that as well.
- They give credit where it is due.
They do not take credit for things they did not do. They will always credit those who deserve it. If you help this person with a project he or she will likely mention your name so you can take credit for your work.
- They are authentic.
They are their truest forms. You won’t catch them in a lie or being fake.
- They are always honest.
They are honest people that feel no need to lie as it is important for them to get to where they need to get in life honestly.
- They never take advantage of others.
They are not the kind of people who will take advantage of someone else. They love to build people up and help them get where they need to be. Taking too much from someone else will never be an issue with someone who has a lot of integrity.
- They do not argue over disagreements.
They will talk through things in a civil manner or not talk at all. You cannot and will not force this person into arguing over something completely ridiculous. I find this to be a very respectable trait.
- They give most people the benefit of the doubt.
They try to see the good in everyone. I think this is because they feel like maybe there are more people in this world that also have integrity. That being said, if you take advantage of them too much they will get rid of you.
- They know when something is bothering someone.
They have a great intuition that lets them know when something is going on. If someone is down in the dumps they will notice. Chances are they will actually do what they can to cheer you up.
- They believe others.
They accept your word as truth until it is disproven. That being said, they do not take lying well. And once you lie to them, it is unlikely that they will ever take your word again.
- They apologize first.
If they have done something wrong they will come to you and apologize. This is just how they are. They own up to their mistake and try to make things right.
- They are humble.
They do not quite know their own worth. While they are very important and do so much good they don’t quite see it. You should remind them of it.
- They do good when they can.
They are always helping other people. They love to know that they have improved someone’s life. It gives their lives meaning.
- They are always kind to those who need it.
Giving kindness can go a long way. When someone looks like they need a little pick me up these people deliver. They can brighten up almost anyone’s day.
The article concludes with this statement which I love!
“If you are someone who has true integrity, thank you for being who you are and thank you for all that you do. You really do actually make a difference in society, please keep up the good work. If you feel no one else is proud of you, know that I am.”
Blessings over your journey!
Kerry Hogan, Breathing Life International, President
Original author unknown
I think that while much of this is taught as habit, true integrity is something that is internal. One thing I would add to the list is the heart. When you do these things becaus you care about people.