(Part 5: Final)
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9
The truth is, wrote Kent Hughes, “American culture is in big trouble. The colossal slide of integrity (especially masculine ethics) has grim spiritual, domestic, and political implications which threaten the survival of life as we know it” (Hughes 2001, p. 125, Discipline of a Godly Man). Integrity is an issue of structure, a consistency that holds the entire weight of the framework or the system or the person in question. Corruption is not integral. Lying and cheating are not integral. Threats, injustice, harm, and murder are not integral. All are corrosive elements to the whole of nature. Inwardly Christians acknowledge original sin—that inner corrupted nature which the Enlightenment set out to deny. However, Christ is the Soul Changer. And under true conviction we do not ignore the faulty broken nature, our purest impure identity as humans. Rather we embrace the healer that condemned the sin that dooms us all. We seek to rise to each occasion though flawed. None are flawless. Integrity is always battling erosion. Maintaining institutions and ourselves are paramount practices to keep falsity and brokenness at bay. To walk securely means to bind one self to ideals outside the self and toward God and surrounding ourselves with people of integrity. Nothing lasts forever but we can build lasting impressions into the imprint of time. Preserving life by preventing evil. Speaking against divorce and sexual immorality. Helping the poor. Creating equal opportunity especially for the downtrodden. Standing up as truth-sayers when our own lie, cheat, steal, and abuse others. In the end, our actions will be judged along with our faith. The Gospel must always come first. Yet we can never ignore the least amongst us. Stand TALL. Stand for TRUTH. Build on the rock, not the sand.
Truth eternal, wise Creator, Fallen man’s illuminator! Light of reason, hope, ambition, Fire of love and true contrition… – W.S. Vale 1935, Cowley (Hymn)