Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Integrity - The Words of Aspire (#11 of 11)

Lesson #11 in an Eleven-part series based on Aspire by Kevin Hall

Integrity is one of those strong words that a lot of people toss about as a badge of honor to be worn.  And it is an honor to have the word “integrity” attached to your name.  Usually, it happens at the end of a life well lived.  Individuals build on the good things they do in their lives, and especially the character traits they exude, and if we are fortunate, when we are reaching for the finish line, the plaudits sound like this:  “He/She is a person of integrity.  He/She lived a worthy life.  He ran his race well.”

What a tribute. 

What is this word Integrity all about?  Let’s dissect it with Kevin’s help.  

“The popular modern definition of integrity is one of being honest and having strong moral conviction, but its roots go much deeper.  “Integrity” comes from the Latin “integer” which in math refers to a whole number.  Integrity of one’s word means our word is whole and complete.  

“Being whole and complete with our word entails living one hundred percent of our word, one hundred percent of the time.”  In other words, our word is our bond.  We can be bound by our words. (MB)

Kevin continues:  “Integrity is a revered quality that brings extraordinary worth and value to one’s life.  One of the highest compliments one can be paid is to be called a person of complete integrity.” 

Kevin and others have talked about sine cera – without wax.  Listen to how Kevin relates this concept.

“In old Italy, unscrupulous sculptors would hide flaws in their work by filling them with wax, thus presenting their sculptures to be what they were not.  It was only a matter of time until the wax would melt or crumble away, revealing the flaw in both the work and the artist. 

“Authentic artisans began identifying their artwork as genuine by stamping each piece with the Latin words “sine cera.”  “Sine” meant without, and “cera” connoted wax.  A ‘sincere sculpture’ was one made without wax.” 

William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about putting meaningful words together.  He once said:  “This above all; to Thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

“Integrity means a life of wholeness.” 

For eleven weeks I’ve known that this word was coming.  I confess that I am one of those desiring to have the word “Integrity” attached to my name and the person of P Michael Biggs.  I would not presume yet to claim that title for I am still a work in progress.  I’ve had moments of great integrity.  Yet I’ve had moments of less than stellar performance. 

Integrity is a journey, not a destination.  I am on the path in search of it.  Every day I set my foot in its direction and get to make choices that will either lead me to it or cause me to lose sight of it.

What a worthy pursuit.

-My prayer for all of us is that we lean into Integrity

-May we go after it with diligent consistency

-May we focus on living a quality life,
and may we honor our word,
our commitments, and our calling.

Will you join me in this pilgrimage toward INTEGRITY?

P Michael Biggs
Hope and Encouragement in Sight
One Word at a Time

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