What Does Integrity Mean: A Thorough Examination
Some words require more than a simple dictionary definition. If someone asked the question, "What does integrity mean?" one could look up the definition and see words such as "honesty" or the "the soundness of moral character." However, in a society that has become increasingly dominated by a culture of moral relativism, one needs to elaborate further on how one defines words such as moral character or honesty.
What does integrity mean? It means that someone lives a life that adhere's to God's natural law. Honesty is certainly a big part of that. If a person with integrity makes a statement, then everyone who knows that person will expect it to be truthful. There will be no intent to deceive.
However, integrity goes beyond even the literal truth. Society is filled with people who tell the technical truth with intent to deceive. It is a skill that many in the legal profession have an uncanny ability to cultivate. For example, let’s say that a store says that if you buy a certain product you will get $1,000 worth of free bonuses to go along with it. The store then takes products it normally sells for $100 and temporarily marks the prices up to $1,000. Well, technically at "list price" the products are worth $1,000 so the statement is not an outright lie. However, most people recognize what something is worth as that which people are willing to pay. So by that measure this would be a complete misrepresentation, the type of misrepresentation someone with true integrity will never make.
A person with integrity can also be counted on to do what they say they are going to do. If they say they are going to meet you at 3 PM on Tuesday, they will show up there barring some unusual event. While this is an inherent part of being honest, many people in today's society just assume that one expects people to be absentminded with one's schedule. People show up 1-2 hours late to a meeting without making anything of it. However, a person with true integrity sticks to his original word and appreciates the value of another person's time.
Most importantly, a person with integrity does not flinch in the face of external pressure. He or she is not afraid of speaking forth the truth, even if that truth is politically incorrect. They will not even succumb to peer pressure or threat of physical violence if they are asked to do something that is against God's natural law. For example, a member of the armed services who is ordered to confiscate the weapons of American people would flatly refuse even under threat of court martial or death if he has integrity. This is because he swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the U.S from all enemies foreign and domestic. If he obeyed that order, he would be transformed into an enemy of the people he was sworn to protect.
In this world where increasingly right is defined as wrong and wrong is promoted as right, it is important to ask the question "What does integrity mean?" Only by returning to a system of normative values can a society not collapse back into a state of nature.
Thank you and May God bless you!
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