Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Understanding Integrity

What is Integrity?

A very good wife of a friend of mine said that I was eloquent on the understanding of Obedience and Integrity. Integrity is an abstract way of describing that you are willing to be true to what you know is true or what you believe to be true. Integrity should be the impetus for obedience or your obedience is blind.

The Laws that Govern Integrity

Each one of us has the capacity to govern ourselves. We are fully capable of governing ourselves and take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. This is integrity, and integrity is a powerful tool of people who have strong testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Law states that Truth creates Freedom. Truth gives us the Freedom to do what we want, to create what we desire, and to enjoy what we have. Therefore, if Truth creates Freedom, a Lie creates bondage. Lies, no matter how expertly they have been conceived as truths, will always put you and other people in bondage.

Blind obedience to anything is a lie. When we obey out of fear, or obey just because everyone else is doing it, we are lying to ourselves. Blind obedience is always transfering your personal responsibility to someone else. It doesn't matter who it is, you are making someone else responsible for your actions. Integrity, however, is something different. When we have integrity, we are empowering ourselves to take personal responsibility for our actions.

When we have integrity, we have power to choose for ourselves. We, in fact, practice true Free Agency. Because with integrity, we have the self confidence and the power to make our own destinies as we see fit. We don't give up are personal responsibility for our actions. We live truly free.

In other words, Obedience is blind without our integrity.  We must be honest with ourselves as to why we are obeying the 10 Commandments in the first place.  If we are obeying the 10 Commandments out of fear or because of the Bandwagon, our obedience is blind.  If we can honestly say that "I love Heavenly Father, and I desire to be with Him, be a part of Him, and become a God" and we obey according to that righteous desire; we are obeying out of Love.  And we will gain more freedom for doing that.

If we cannot answer that question honestly, then we are living a lie. Obedience out of blindness, or blind Obedience, takes away our freedom and our personal responsibility and gives it to somebody else. Integrity is not Obedience, it is the power and ability to be honest with yourself and to be confident with yourself.

At least that is how I understand Integrity.

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