“He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” (Psalms 78:70-72 KJV)
I recall with lucidity of being taught integers in the mathematics class while in the seminary. An integer is a whole number that is not a fraction or a thing complete in itself. As I meditate on integrity as a fundamental requirement for any speaking vision—I thought within that integrity must have something to do with integer. Upon further inquiry from Wikipedia, I discovered that the word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete.
Nothing gives wholeness to vision like integrity. Integrity gives inner sense to wholeness as a derivative of consistency of character. It is the summation of derived little costly things that make for perfection. Therefore, integrity is having wholeness and consistency of character like an integer.
The story of Samuel is a perfect example of a man of integrity. He was whole and consistent in his character. In the pursuit of his vision and mission, he never wavered in character. At the twilight of his ministry, he was very bold to declare his integrity and presented himself for public scrutiny and audit. No wonder, he was such a phenomenal prophet that none of his words fell to the ground.
“Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” “No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.””(1 Sam.12:3-4 NLT)
Nothing matters more than integrity in the discovery, formulation and actualization of vision. Suffice it to say that integrity is the rock foundation for visionary leadership. Self-leadership or self- discipline is critical to the formation of a winning vision.
I’m reminded of the immortal words of Apostle Paul in his second epistle to his son Timothy. He said, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
(2 Tim.2:19-21 KJV)
Vision is incompatible with incontinent behaviors. You cannot build the vision superstructure without the foundation of integrity. “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”
(Prov. 11:3 KJV)
Integrity is staying true to your commitments. It involves having a point of view of what matters and sticking to it—even if you stand to lose something in the process. I read a story about Andy Roddick that touched my heart. Andy was playing Fernando Verdasco at the Italia Masters tennis tournament where he was wrongly awarded a point without his opponent, the officials and the cheering crowd knowing. He could have kept this information to himself and accepted the victory. Instead he informed the umpire of the wrong award and showed him the mark on the clay where the ball had hit to prove his point. The umpire reversed the call and awarded the point to Verdasco. Andy Roddick lost at least tens of thousands of dollars according to the estimates of Sportswriter Frank DeFord. He placed more value on his personal integrity than winning by hook or crook.
It’s a source of concern that integrity seems rather more difficult to come by these days. I discovered two main reasons that are responsible for this:
1. Lack of faith or dwindling faith in the Word of God.
This enervates the power to endure the process of obedience of faith. With increased risks, uncertainties, competitions, peer pressure, hardships and worse still, entrapping world systems— the love, faith and hope of many are dwindling and waxing cold. Hence, the compromises here and there. A living faith is defiant and enduring.
2. Lack of Purpose. When you don’t know your why—you may give in to compromises like Esau and Reuben did. Purpose imposes an easy burden on you to stay focused.
Therefore, I implore you to keep building your faith in God through the impartation of His Word and have a thorough understanding of your why. Your faith and purpose working with the Holy Spirit will bring forth the fruits of righteousness. Which will in turn manifest in the integrity of your vision.
✝️ Tochukwu Kemakolam