Integrity is perseverance in living the actions of what one believes and says to be right. Living with integrity means making choices focused on truth even when it's hard and even when no one is looking.
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. (Proverbs 11:3)
Duplicity is exactly what it sounds like: two. If we speak one thing, but our actions show the opposite we are not living with integrity. We can all think of duplicitous people we have encountered. We call them hypocrites.
Reality is that we are all hypocrites. Not intentionally or maliciously, but because we're human products of a flawed world. It takes time and intention to examine all our beliefs and attachments. Part of becoming a mature human is that process of reflection and examination to know our own hearts and minds so that we ARE persistently seeking to live with integrity.
People who are conscientiously living a duplicitous life are constantly being torn in two. It's an awful existence. I think about church leaders I've known who through very human (and sometimes relatable) circumstances ended up making choices that were in direct opposition to everything they claimed to stand for. That's gotta feel so icky all the time, but if you live like that long enough you find ways to stop feeling icky in order to survive. That process leads farther and farther from the path of integrity. Brokenness, deceit, unmet need, unresolved hurts, covered truths; these things are all real human conditions that are both the reason and the outcome of duplicitous living. It breaks my heart and brings new compassion for anyone living with that duplicitous burden. (It also makes me think of Voldemort and the Horcruxes *shudder*.)
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
Integrity gives us a stable foundation on which to live. The moral compass, the high road, doing in the right thing; whatever you want to call it. It's not always easy, and it's not "Full House" where the situation always resolves with the person who does right being rewarded. Sometimes living with integrity is not rewarded right away or even in a way that others can see, but living with integrity ALWAYS serves and feeds your heart and soul.
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