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5 Ways to Build Your Integrity


5 Ways to Build Your Integrity

Earlier this week we looked at five signs that show you lack integrity. It’s one thing to know you might lack it in certain areas, but the question is how do you build integrity? How do you develop it?

Integrity is about more than just doing the right thing, It’s about buidling the kind of character that can survive a crisis intact. In the same way a building that has integrity can survive a storm, a life that has integrity can do the same.

So how do you build integrity?

1. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Of all the lies we tell, the ones we tell ourselves are the most deadly. Question your motives. Stop justifying what you know to be wrong. Stop excusing yourself.

2. Seek wise counsel. We all have blind spots. It’s one thing to be honest with yourself, but sometimes you and I are just blind to faults others can see. Find three or four people who believe in you and ask them for feedback on your life.

3. Decide to honour God, not please people. Doing the right thing is almost never the easy thing, and sometimes it’s not the popular thing. Honouring God is not the same as believing you are always right and everyone else is wrong – it simply means you are going to live with a long view of what to do, informed by scripture. It means enduring short term pain for longer term gain. To avoid becoming arrogant or deluded, make sure you test what obedience looks like for you not only against scripture and prayer, but also with your circle of wise counsel (see above). They will see things you can’t see.

4. Be appropriately transparent. We’d all like to be something we’re not. Admit your shortcomings. You don’t have to tell everyone what you’re struggling with, but you need to tell someone. Part of being honest with yourself is being honest with others. And as much as you might be afraid that everyone will think less of you, living transparently and not pretending to be someone you aren’t actually makes people think more of you. It’s counter-intuitive. It’s also transformative.

5. Put yourself first when it comes to personal growth. I know that sounds selfish, even unbibilical, but I’m not sure it is. Jesus prepared for thirty years before ministering for three. And during those three years he often disappeared to pray. You can only give what you’ve got. And he spent whole seasons of his life receiving from God what he needed to give to the world. Cancel some appointments. Tell the kids to wait. You need to build a solid spiritual, emotional and relational foundation for your life. Pray. Open the Bible (for you – not for anyone else pastors). Go for a run. Eat something healthy. Go for dinner with a friend who gives you life. If your cup is empty, how are you going to fill anyone else’s?

These are five practices I’ve found helpful in my life.

What have you discovered helps you build integrity?

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  • Timmy Prag

    So I have a question.

    I’m a teacher at a public high school and my “god-sense” keeps telling me to teach something other than the prescribed curriculum. It is almost as if I am compromising my spirit and my effectiveness and my vision of a high quality education in order to teach them the prescribed curriculum, rather than the one that naturally flows through me. When I allow the curriculum to flow through me, this leads to much high connectivity between my students and I, but it seems to push administrative boundaries, and it’s usually not long before I am being observed and told to “get back on track.” If I wish to make the most lasting positive change in my own and in the lives of my students (and for that matter, my colleagues), what is it your suggest I do?


    • That’s a tough one Timmy! I think the best advice is to talk to some people around you who know you and the situation well. See what they say.

      My only other catch would be to monitor your reputation with your colleagues etc. If they see you as someone lacking in integrity because you break the rules, you just need to ensure that this is reputation you want and that in the end, it helps the cause of the Gospel.

    • James Ardill

      Hi Timmy
      I am a pastor and until 3 years ago a teacher of over 21 years in a public school teaching Science to high school. I have been through your situation many ties and believe I can give you some insight into the godly path forward. My email is My church is Liberty Tamworth in Tamworth New South Wales Australia

      • James…this is 100% pure awesome. Love your heart to help. Thank you!

        • Timmy Prag

          Thank you both for your responses and advice, and I look forward to hearing from you James! I have found this year to be quite challenging, and am definitely open to any insight you can provide!

  • tunde

    Let your yes be yes

  • Namwinga A. Chibuye

    Really blessed immensely, keep up the good work.

  • Maribie Buslon

    I am so bless and see the real me and open my eyes to the truth and as a Pastor, yes we may pretend we are okay but deep inside us we need to be release and comforted to someone else that truly understand us and will counsel us..we need someone to lean on and can strengthen us and maybe it is our best friend..our mentor but the only one we can trust and poured out everything in us is JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE ONLY ONE CAN HELP US AND CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND US AND WILL FORGIVE ALL OF OUR FAILURES IN LIFE AND IN THE MINISTRY..JESUS IS OUR BEST FRIEND! THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL MESSAGE THAT REALLY BLESS ME! GOD BLESS YOU RICHLY AND WILL USE YOU MORE!

  • David Enslin

    Thank you for the wise and kind advice. I shall endeavour to practice what you suggest, because it makes sense. I want to joint the British Army, for the reason of developing myself and being a good person. But since going there, I learnt that they are actually looking for people with these qualities already, especially young people. I ask you, how is this a realsitic requirement, when so many people are never going to have developed these qualities the Army is looking for at their tender age.

  • Carey. Your blog challenges me daily. Thanks for posting. I love reading what you write because you deal with my heart more than anything else. Thanks for this post. Great actionable things! I hope you keep writing on things like this!

    • Carey

      Casey…thank you so much for the encouragement. It’s just raw processing for me. It’s just amazing to me that we really all do struggle with many of the same things.

  • great post. it’s good to check ourselves every once in a while, even if that is done through the wisdom shared on blogs! what you wrote affirmed a lot of the things i’ve been feeling and trying to do! thank you for sharing!

    • Carey

      Allie…thanks so much. Glad we’re in this together!