Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, gave a sermon on integrity that I have never forgotten. In this sermon he defined the root word of integrity, which is integer.
According to dictionary.com an integer is a mathematical term that refers to a whole number, a number that is not a fraction. (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/integer)
Mr. Laurie explained that integrity in a person is experienced where there is wholeness and no fracturing of the soul.
That means that a person who has integrity is one who has integrity is whole from the inside out. No part of that person is fractured or incomplete due to personal decisions that create division, whether it be a decision to sin or a divided mind.
The picture that comes to mind is that of a dam. A dam, when it is whole, can contain and hold back millions of gallons of water. When the dam begins to fracture the entire dam comes down and the water wins.
A leader needs to have integrity, in ALL areas. This includes marriage fidelity, financial integrity, freedom from sexual sins and addictions, no lying or stealing, and a much more. Any area of a person’s life that is lacking integrity causes a fracturing of the whole and everything is a risk.
True integrity comes with accountability. Live your life as an open book and invite other trusted people into your life to hold you accountable to the highest standards.
Integrity is not to be confused with perfection. No one is perfect. But it does mean that you are not willfully engaging in activities that divide your soul. In the Bible, in James chapter 3 we see that this means we cannot curse people in one sentence and then bless God in the next. Just like both fresh and salt water cannot come from the same spring, so you cannot live a fractured life as a leader.
Let me encourage you to examine your life and find the places you are fractured. Once identified, take steps to bring them into alignment with your desire to be a leader full of integrity.
The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about integrity, so I will end it here with a verse, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
Proverbs 10:9 ESV https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.10.9.ESV