Integrity is defined (according to Wikipedia) as “Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.” Integrity is a word I don’t hear often anymore, and one I see even less.
It seems we all demand everyone to be people of integrity. We demand that those we come in contact with be “men of their word”, we expect people’s word to be their bond. And when it doesn’t happen, we get upset and talk of suing for breach of contract”.
The sad thing is, we expect this from others in their dealings with us but we deny it for ourselves. We don’t have a problem with integrity, everyone else does.
Every now and again, even in this “everything goes” generation someone will stand up and be a person of integrity. And we all gasp and marvel at this wonder before us.
“Why does he do that?”
“I bet it’s all for show. Just wait. He’ll fold.”
When he doesn’t fold, doesn’t fall, we mock him. We say he should tone it down. When that doesn’t work because he chooses to wear his integrity like one wears underwear, every day and never for show we ponder and while inside we have to admit to ourselves how much we like the guy, outwardly we continue to mock.
Not because it makes us feel better, in fact, the opposite is true. We feel worse. But we think if we can just mock those exhibiting integrity in an arena we didn’t we can by the strength of our words and our persistency we can somehow convince him to trip up.
Tim Tebow has proven to the NFL, the nation and in a sense the world that he is a man of integrity. The people don’t understand his stand for Christ. They really don’t understand his stand for Christ in the midst of huge opposition, of his integrity in the face of trials.
The world has sat up and taken notice of this young man, born to a missionary family, because he isn’t folding. He is a man of integrity and the world is shocked to find it can be done by the young in a profession that offers fame and everything money can buy.
Tebow stands out as one who says “I can’t be bought. Integrity can’t be bought.”
He was slayed in the media for his relationship with Jesus. They expected him to fall flat on his face and prove himself just a man with feet of clay, able to be bought and tempted. They were anxiously waiting for the fall with noose in hand.
Only he didn’t fall.
Now the media can’t say enough good about him. They still don’t understand him. But that’s okay. They don’t have to.
The thing we need to remember is we are also being watched by the world. Are we people of integrity? Are we true? Are we consistent? Are we the same in church on Sunday as we are in the grocery store on Wednesday?
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
(1 Corinthians 10:31)