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Summary: On the surface of life, we demonstrate integrity. We return money that’s not ours. We pay our bills on time. We work hard at our jobs. We volunteer at church. But if someone were to write a story about your life, would we really want him or her to write e

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INTRODUCTION

Opening Statement: In the book Strengthening Your Grip, Charles Swindoll tells the following story about integrity.

“Some time ago, I heard about a fellow in Long Beach who went into a fried chicken franchise to get some chicken for himself and the young lady with him. She waited in the care while he went in to pick up the chicken. Inadvertently, the manager of the store handed the guy the box in which he had placed the financial proceeds of the day instead of the box of chicken. You see, he was going to make a deposit and had camouflaged it by putting the money in a fried chicken box. The fellow took his box, went back to the car, and the two of them drove away. When they got to the park and opened the box, they discovered they had a box full of money… He realized there must have been a mistake, so he got back in his car and returned to the place and gave the money back to the manager. Well, the manager was elated! He was so pleased that he told the young man, “Stick around, I want to call the newspaper and have them take your picture. You’re the honest guy in town.” “Oh, no, don’t do that!” said the fellow. “Why not?” asked the manager. “Well,” he said, “You see, I’m married, and the woman I’m with right now is not my wife.”

Application: On the surface of life, we demonstrate integrity. We return money that’s not ours. We pay our bills on time. We work hard at our jobs. We volunteer at church. But if someone were to write a story about your life, would we really want him or her to write everything?

Series Review: We continue our series on God-glorifying excellence. We’re not about perfectionism. Neither are we about a snooty sophistication, elitism and professionalism. Rather, we believe that excellence in Christian living and work, when expressed with humility and authenticity, glorifies God and inspires people. When we do all we can within our God-given resources to pursue our tasks at hand with excellence in mind, that moves people toward the majesty and beauty, and order of God. It makes the New Community an inviting place to be.

Title: Excellence in Personal Integrity, Part 3

Definition: The idea of completeness or wholeness is at the root of the Hebrew term (thamam) for integrity. The term “integrity” has within it the idea of an integer. What is an integer? Within the realm of mathematics, it is one whole number. It is not one number and part of another number. It is not fractionalized. Rather, an integer suggests completeness or wholeness.

Application: When we apply this concept to our lives, we understand that we are considered whole or complete people when our beliefs have been integrated into our behavior. A person of integrity is not fractionalized with duplicity or hypocrisy. A heart and life of integrity is consistent in one honest, simple direction. If a person of integrity begins a job, they finish it. If they make a promise, they keep it. If they commit a huge mistake, they admit it. If they believe something, they support that belief with their lifestyle. In this sense, they are whole and complete without a fractionalized life.


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