That is a question I often asked myself this year especially amid my relationships and when I faced conflict. Work relationships and the people we are closet to, I believe are the perfect opportunities for our integrity to be tested. I’ve struggled to deal with conflict especially at work and learning to work with difficult characters can be challenging. Relationships with family and friends will also test your integrity because these are people who know you deeply and can sometimes push your buttons. Amid all these circumstances, God prompted me to always try and be a person who talked and walked in the way of Jesus. Yes, we all slip up time to time and are not perfect however because we live by the Spirit, we need to keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).
STEP 3: BE SOMEONE OF INTEGRITY.
So, I learnt that both talking and walking in the way of Jesus meant a life marked by love, compassion, mercy, justice and honouring God’s call above everything else. I’ve seen God use broken people; people living with no integrity whatsoever however, but that doesn’t let us off the hook. I learnt that what matters to God is that we are living with integrity to the commands that he has given us.
I say relationships are a great opportunity to exercise integrity because that is where I felt it the most. Firstly, in my work relationships. Working in healthcare can be so challenging not even because of the workload but merely due to the characters you can encounter. I’m not a very outspoken person so learning to deal with challenging characters was an uphill battle for me. But I believe what God was trying to work out for me was to put me into a position where I needed to exercise all I had been learning behind closed doors, out in the real world. It’s so easy to study the word in depth in comfort zones but to be pushed and exercise what we learn; well that’s another story altogether!
Proverbs 11:3 talks about how the integrity of the upright will guide them but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them. So, when I learnt to intentionally seek to put into practice what I learn of the word in my difficult circumstances, I saw how God was guiding me and teaching me. His word was truly becoming a manifestation. What it looked like was when being pushed to act out in anger, I remember James 1:19-20. When being pushed to complain, I remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18. When being tempted not to forgive I remember how Christ forgave us.
Once I learnt this, I saw how God was guiding me in the situations I initially cringed at! The circumstances I didn’t want to deal with. God was teaching me to practice what I learnt behind closed doors so I would develop integrity. This was purposefully for his glory so that people may see his light in me.