This past week Milwaukee Brewers infield Ryan Braun was suspended for 65 games for taking performance enhancing drugs, and lying about it to Major League Baseball. During the fallout reporters have been talking about the lasting effects of his lying on his integrity.
For me integrity is one of those words that if you asked me do you know what means I would say yes, but if you asked me to give a clear and concise definition I might struggle. I am part of a process called Ridder Church Renewal right now and heard integrity defined in this way. Integrity is: 1) doing what you said, 2) when you said you would, 3) in the manner appropriate to do it. Jesus talked about integrity this way, “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37 NRSV)
If I am honest with myself I often can complete 2 out of 3 for any given word I give to someone. To truly fulfill all three of these is quite challenging. Jesus call in Matthew 5 is to honor the words that we give to other people, and since we are imperfect people and often fall short on those commitments, we have a responsibility to go back and clean up the mess.
Cleaning up the mess can begin simply by becoming present to the impact and simply asking the person you did not keep your word to, “I told you I would ______, what was the impact of me not doing that?”
As I have began to walk engage this model of integrity in my life it has not been easy, and has stretched me. I would encourage you to reflect on this model of integrity and consider putting this into practice so you yes can be yes and your no be no.
- What about this model of integrity do you agree/disagree with?
- What about this model of integrity would you find challenging?
- How would you describe the value or importance of integrity to someone?
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