A young man who was fresh out of high school applied to an Ivy League school in the Northeast. He was bright and academically qualified for the elite university, but he was - -shall we say, “full of himself.” So when he was called in for a personal interview he assumed it was nothing more than a formality.
However, during the interview he was asked a number of searching questions. One of the questions posed by the interviewer was, “If no one would ever find out and no one got hurt, would you lie for a million dollars?” The young man was a bit taken aback, but quickly replied, “If no one found out, and no one got hurt? Then sure, I think I would!” The next question from the interviewer was, “Would you lie for a dime?” Without hesitation the young man shot back, “No way! What kind of man do you think I am?” The interviewer answered, “I have already determined that, I am just trying to determine your price.”
Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” In practical terms it has been defined as “Doing what is right when everyone else is doing wrong;” and “How you act when no one else is looking.” That being said, integrity should be an identifying characteristic of anyone who wears the name “Christian.”
Jesus often taught the principles of integrity. One example is when He commanded, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No…’” (Matthew 5:37). In former days, we heard statements like: “A man’s word is his bond.” And indeed even a lot of business deals were sealed by someone’s word or a handshake, but those days have pretty well passed. While there are still people of integrity in our world, they seem to be declining in number.
Jesus not only taught us to be people of integrity in word, but also by His example. He stated: “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Satan tested His integrity over and over. In one of those tests he took Jesus to “an exceedingly high mountain which overlooked all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” and said, “all these things will I give You if You will fall down and worship me.” But Jesus boldly responded, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:8-10).
Jesus defined integrity in every way! He did not have a price at which He could be bought out- - and neither should we!