One of the most important character traits a man can possess is moral integrity. Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. It’s an internal compass, a rudder that directs you where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction.
1. You determine your moral integrity.
Some people think reputation is the same as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.
2. Integrity means keeping your word.
Integrity is critical to everything we do because it is the foundation of our trustworthiness. Integrity is also a critical element in marriage. Can I count on you to be my marriage partner? Did you mean what you said when we exchanged vows, or is it only for better, for richer, and in health? Do I have to worry about whether you’ll have an affair because you aren’t honest in other areas? Can I count on you to do what you say you will do, no matter what may come along to make it difficult?
3. Having integrity makes life easier for our loved ones.Integrity does not come in degrees—low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you do not.
For me, integrity means doing everything I can to make sure my wife, Lauren, is comfortable and confident. In coaching, the nature of the job, the hours put into work, and the amount of time I spent away from home created enough hardships for her; I don’t want to add to that by causing her worry or stress. I do everything I can to make sure Lauren has complete confidence in me and our relationship.
4. You either have it or you don’t.
From the moment you are born, you and you alone determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees—low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you do not.
Sound off: What are the biggest challenges in having integrity?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is having integrity so important?”