By Rick Warren
“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8 NLT).
Do you want to be one of those people? We don’t talk a lot these days about being pure in heart, but we do use the word integrity. To have integrity does not mean you are perfect, because if it did, none of us would have it!
So, what does it mean to have integrity?
Integrity is wholeness.
A lot of people think of their life like a pie, and the different parts of their life are the pieces of the pie. This slice of the pie is my career. This is my work life. This is my spiritual life. Then this is my family life. That one is my social life. Then over here is my secret life — my compulsions, addictions, and the things nobody else knows about.
If you segment your life like that, you lack integrity, because your life is not a whole. Integrity means you’re the same person with everybody, in your speech, actions, and motives, no matter which part of life you’re dealing with.
Integrity is authenticity.
In ancient Greek culture, actors were referred to as hypocrites because they pretended to be someone else. It’s where we get the word hypocrite.
When you wear masks so that you appear one way in front of some people and another way for others, it shows a lack of authenticity. God wants you to be exactly who he made you to be, no matter who is watching.
Integrity is uncorrupted motivation.
It means you do the right thing, and you do it for the right reason. You have unmixed motivation and pure motives. You’re sincere and straightforward in every area of your life and with all people. You pray to talk to God and not to impress other people.
We’re interested in image, but God is interested in integrity. We’re interested in reputation, but God is interested in character. Reputation is what everybody thinks you are. Integrity is what you really are. Reputation is what you are in public. Integrity is what you are when you’re all alone with God.
“The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity” (Proverbs 11:20 NLT).
Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California. This editorial first appeared on his daily devotional blog.