Monday, January 16, 2012

Peace Month Daily Reader, day 16

January 16 – Integrity
Paul Almquist          

Read: James 2:14-26

Integrity is not only important to Friends, but in some way to most people. Isn’t it true that if you do business with someone you sure hope they are a person of integrity? When you take your car to the mechanic you want them to fix only what really needs to be fixed and charge you a fair price.
The apparent lack of integrity that surrounds us these days makes it a powerful testimony when we act with integrity and do so in the name of Christ. I like to think of integrity as integrating what we believe into what we do. We have a document as Friends known as “Faith and Practice.” Maybe we could say faith as practice, faith with practice or even perhaps faith-practice. You really cannot have one without the other: word matched with deed, belief demonstrated by action. If we act as if what we believe is not really true, then we may have to ask if we really believe it in the first place.
That doesn’t negate the need for grace. In fact, one of the greatest ways we can show we are people of integrity is by admitting our mistakes, shortcomings and sins and seeking the forgiveness we need. If my integrity is formed out of my experience of God’s grace and the grace of others I will not be able to be “proud” of my integrity. My actions will simply be a humble “thank you” to God and others.

Do I practice integrity in all I do?
I say I believe in peace – do I get along with my own family?
I desire global justice – do I show compassion for my neighbor who is being oppressed in some way?
I “go” to church on Sunday – do I act like I “am” the church the rest of the week?

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