Don't you hate being lied to? I've been wrestling with my thoughts in this area lately, reading, praying, and searching for the best way to deal with friends and acquaintances who have compromised their integrity for one reason or another. We do have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to seek to restore them when they are overtaken in a transgression.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 ESV)
But today, the words "Keep watch on yourself" seemed to jump off the page and pin the thoughts I had been wrestling with to the mat. The Holy Spirit changed my focus from others' lapses in integrity to examining my own integrity. It's very easy to spot flaws in others' character, and far more comfortable than examining our own hearts. As a leader, my integrity is extremely important. I want my wife, my children, my church, and my colleagues to be able to trust me.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1 ESV)
My integrity is worth far more than whatever gain may be achieved by compromising my integrity. My integrity is worth more than I could ever gain by cheating on my taxes. It's worth more than I could gain by scheming to raise funds. My integrity is worth far more than any recognition I might gain by misrepresenting who I am on a resume or school application. It's worth more than a grade on a term paper that I might improve through plagiarism. There are so many ways that we might be tempted to compromise our integrity but it's never worth it.
God, help me be a man, not just of the Word, but also of my word.