A couple of weeks ago in a message I used a quote by Erwin McManus, from his book Uprising.
“Integrity is not just about who you are, but who you seek to become. When we have integrity, we don’t need to pretend. We are aware of our weaknesses and shortcomings. Integrity is not about being flawless, but “falseless.” When you watch a person with integrity, you can know exactly what’s inside him or her. That individual is transparent. You can see inside the heart and witness the light emanating from within.”
One facet of integrity is the importance to become a person who has this quality. Someone who is not false, or who has a public persona that is vastly different from the person inside. We understand the importance of this, not just in our own character, but in our own experience. It is difficult to relate to someone who does not have integrity. You never really know where you stand or if the person in front of you is the real person underneath. Lack of integrity simply hurts relationship.
There is something else in this description by McManus which is helpful in our coming before God. McManus writes, “Integrity is not about being flawless, but falseless.” This is a liberating reality for anyone desiring integrity. It is not about being perfect, but real. This doesn’t mean we have a licence to do what we want and declare that we are just being real. What it does mean is that when we come before God, He invites us to be real with Him. With God, He knows we are not flawless. He knows we are not perfect. He is not asking us to pretend we are.
To be a person of integrity starts with being real enough with ourselves and God to admit that we are not okay. We are not right before God. But it dares to believe that because of the mercy and grace of God we can be. The God who knows you are not flawless, still offers us his love and forgiveness. This is the great hope of the Bible.