A Different Way to Think About Integrity

George Burns once said, "The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that you’ve got it made."

Most observers agree we are in the middle of an integrity crisis. I personally know dishonesty is rampant among the clerks and cashiers where I get my Starbucks and movie tickets– because they often try to give me a price break as though, together, we are "sticking it to the man."

I get nervous when I hear a message or read a book that exhorts me to behave my way out of a situation I have believed my way into. For example, if a man doesn’t think that it’s necessary to tithe, that there’s nothing wrong with "looking at the menu" when it comes to women other than his wife, or that there’s nothing wrong with little white lies — it’s doubtful that a "behavior modification" scheme is going to change him long term.

Belief determines behavior. To change behavior we need a "belief modification" plan. To say it even better, we need a "heart transformation" plan. Easily the greatest contribution we can make to a man is to help him change the core affections of his heart. Any such plan, for the Christian, necessarily starts with the Bible. So here’s a good believer’s definition for integrity:

Integrity is a one-to-one correlation between my Bible, my belief, and my behavior.

Yours for changed lives,

Patrick Morley, Ph.D.

Man in the Mirror

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