The musician known by the stage name of Alice Cooper once said, “Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian is a real act of rebellion.” This is because; Christians are called to a standard of living that is very different than the standard of the rest the world. We are called to act and treat others with integrity following the example of Jesus Christ.
Integrity is something that I have been thinking about a lot these days. This is because; the word “integrity” is my Star word for the year 2021. And so as part of my devotions, I think about how it appears in my daily life. The dictionary defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” As people of faith, scripture lays out for us this ethical code. Such as in Philippians 4:6” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”
The other night, this word came to my mind, as I was watching a girls’ basketball game in Scranton. That night, the Nighthawks were having a rough game, because the other team was playing rather unsportsmanlike in my opinion. And the officials seemed to be missing a lot of calls against our opponents. And as we know this happens from time to time, because officials are human too.
It would have been really easy for the girls to fight back. And reciprocate what was happening to them by playing dirty and let their emotions get the best of them. But instead they played that game with integrity. And ended up in spite of everything against them, they won by quite a large margin.
In my opinion integrity, like I saw the other night, is not in fashion in our world right now. We let others control our behavior, rather than letting God’s truth dictate our daily walk and beliefs. We excuse our actions by focusing on what others our doing. And many people let their emotions guide them. But this is not the way God calls us to act.
In the face of unfairness, we are all called not to stick it to the other guy, but to walk with integrity. As it says in Titus 2:7, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. Because, in acting the way God calls us to do, we may be seen as rebels to the world, but we are seen as righteous before God. And that kind of behavior stands out for the better.