“Hey,” the girl called after him, and those in the vicinity turned. Gabriel turned also, and saw that Natasha was standing now, and she asked, “Do you know who I am?” Gabriel thought for a moment before answering.
“The most gorgeous girl in the room,” he said, and then he shrugged. And Natasha didn’t smile or tilt her head or toss her hair or giggle, because the most gorgeous boy in the room still turned his back on her and walked away.
The above snippet is from my second novel, Freeing Tanner Rose. In the scene, the male character, Gabriel, encounters someone whose outer beauty immediately astounds him. But as he gets to know this girl, he finds that her inner self is not so pretty.
Ladies, the reason why inner beauty is so important is because it resonates throughout a person, beautifying them on both the inside and the outside. Without inner beauty, the most gorgeous face is simply unattractive. This week, I’m featuring a really important component of inner beauty: integrity!
Integrity is more than just honesty. It describes a wholeness about a person that can be trusted. Not just in their words, but also in their belief system. Integrity suggests maturity in a person’s thought process, as well as a deep morality that’s a reflection of God’s commandments. When someone has integrity, they can be trusted, not only to speak the truth, but to do the right thing. They are conscious of what is right and wrong, and they find it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to say and do wrong.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
Consider practicing more integrity in the following areas of your life:
- At school. This comes in so many forms, from the way you speak about friends to the way you keep your word. It’s also reflected in the way you act. Steer away from what’s wrong and follow God’s Word, regardless of peer pressure or temptation. This would include not gossiping about others, being honest on tests and keeping your word.
- At home. Be trustworthy when it comes to following your parents’ rules. Again, it’s keeping your word when you make a promise to them. And it’s acting according to God’s commandments.
- When no one is looking. Of course God is always looking, but it’s so easy to forget that. But being alone is the ultimate test of your integrity. Do you still follow the rules? Are you true to all that is morally right and just?
Abraham Lincoln once stated, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” Integrity is not about you. It’s about what’s right. So, regardless of how you feel about the truth, it’s still the truth, whether in word, deed or scripture, and so you should shine light on it always.
If you’re finding it a struggle to have integrity, then consider the following tips:
- Recognize the value of integrity as described in the Scripture. It’s a trait that we’re all called to possess. And it’s one that brings delight to the Lord.
- Surround yourself with people who have it. When you hang out with others who have integrity, it’s easier to instill it within you. Of course, the true test is holding on to it when you’re tempted to do otherwise.
- Practice it. Like all these inner beauty virtues, integrity must be practiced in order for it to be instilled within us.
- Pray for it. It’s really not an easy virtue to have. Integrity requires much self-discipline, and this is difficult in the culture that we live in today. So calling on God to strengthen you is a must.
Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27)
Ladies, do you have integrity? Do you know of any other ways to strengthen your integrity?