Someone with integrity has real honesty, honor, good character, ethics, principles, and truthfulness. They value righteousness, fairness, decency, scrupulousness, morals and trustworthiness. A friend with these qualities is a real jewel to be treasured and that friendship is a wonderful experience of caring and sharing, through the good and the bad.
I was blessed to have that kind of friend for 42 years. I met Edwina on October, 1973 in downtown Dallas at a data-entry job. Our desks were side-by-side, and she began the same day I did. When she came in, she sat down and put her Bible and her cigarettes on the desk. She looked at me and said hello and I will never forget those beautiful brown eyes, full of wisdom and mischief. We clicked immediately and stayed best friends until November, 2014 when she went to live with Jesus. I left Dallas in 1979 yet called her almost every day. I visited Dallas as often as I could, staying with her of course, and learned more about life from her than anyone else I knew.
Edwina was the epitome of integrity. She always said she never lied to God or Edwina. She was honest yet compassionate. She never judged or condemned. Yet she was the first to admit she had a terrible temper and always went to God to keep her from “going off the cliff” as she used to say. No one will ever replace Edwina in my life, and our four-decade friendship will go down in my history as one the greatest blessing I ever had. She loved to talk “God talk” and could lift others out of their doldrums without even trying. All of this in spite of the fact she had serious health issues that led to her losing a leg and being house-bound, and eventually passing away at the age of 68.
Now the opposite of a person with integrity is one who is dishonest, not only with others but mainly with themselves. These kinds of people have fooled themselves the most. They think they have great integrity, but deep down, they really are gently shoving others aside and looking out for Number One. I’ve had my fair share of them in my life, too. Their lies eventually caught up to them, and thankfully I was able to see the truth and get away from them as fast as I could.
Have you met someone who appeared to be honest and sincere, and seemed to genuinely care about others, but as you got to know this person, you saw inconsistencies? Quite a bummer, right? I think we have all been around people who we really like but somehow find ourselves shrinking away from them. Trust your gut instinct and when that little red flag pops up, pay attention to it.
So how does integrity work in your own daily life? Do you have a friend like Edwina? Someone who has your back yet isn’t afraid to call you out on things? If so, treasure that friendship! Proverbs 31 says a virtuous woman is valued far above rubies. Using Godly discernment will help you tell whether or not someone is worth your valuable time and friendship.
C S Lewis said it right. “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”