Chatting with my friend Don today, he said this quote that he has used since high school. (He is in his 70’s now… a retired pastor).
Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.
The person of conviction makes a choice according to what is right, the ego -driven, or “self” driven person, according to what is profitable. It is truly a test of honor and integrity, when you are faced with a choice between doing what is right and doing what is profitable. It’s not that you can’t do both what is right and what is profitable at the same time, you can. What we are talking about is when you have to choose between the two. Those with integrity will always choose what is right.
Always be mentally alert when choosing what thoughts to entertain and what actions to take. Weigh your choices according to what is right, not what is profitable or what your emotions are pushing you to do. We have to work to keep our thoughts and emotions under control, or they will push us to act according to what we feel instead of what is right. This can be a constant battle, at least until we bring our thoughts and emotions captive to Truth.
Always be willing to do what’s right, and then deal with the consequences of those actions, whatever they may be, after the fact. If you have done your best to do the right thing, you have your integrity intact. And, what’s more, your conscience will be clear and you will have nothing to be ashamed of or to hang your head for. When you live your life in this way, you have no problem looking ANY man, or God, in the eye, for you know that you live your life with honor and integrity.
Adapted: B. Sanders – Living a Life of Excellence