By Wayne S. Walker
"But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me" (Psalm 26:11). Our English word "integrity" comes from a Latin word for "untouched, whole" and is related to the term "integer" which is defined as "necessary for completeness; essential; whole or complete." When speaking of the integrity of a structure, we are talking about its "being complete, wholeness; unimpaired condition; soundness." However, referring to human beings who are made in the image of God and thus have responsibilities laid upon them by their Creator, we most commonly use "integrity" in the sense of "uprightness, honesty, and sincerity."
First, we need to walk in integrity towards ourselves. I believe it was Polonius who told Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, "To thine own self be true." This principle is taught in the scriptures which encourage us to have "faith and a good conscience" (1 Timothy 1:18). When we do not remain true to what we know to be right, we violate our conscience and give up our self-integrity. God’s word warns us against deceiving ourselves in this way (James 1:22). The person who walks in integrity toward self will not pretend to be something that he is not.
Second, we need to walk in integrity towards others. In order for society to operate the way that God intended, each person needs to demonstrate uprightness, honesty, and sincerity in his relationships with his fellowmen. We want others to treat us honestly, so the "golden rule" means that we should do so to them likewise (Luke 6:31). It is especially important for Christians, who are to be lights in the world, to "walk properly toward those who are outside" (2 Thessalonians 4:12). Nothing will cause others to blaspheme the gospel any quicker than one who calls himself a Christian but does not show integrity to others.
Third, and most importantly, we need to walk in integrity towards God. This means accepting the evidence of His existence so that we believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). It also means that having acknowledged Him as the Creator and loving Him as our heavenly Father we must keep His commandments in all things (1 John 5:3, Revelation 22:14). Indeed, the person who has as his primary objective to walk in integrity towards God will most certainly walk in integrity towards others and himself as well.