My pastor went over this with the men at our weekly meeting and I thought I would share it with you. The author is unknown.
The circumstances amid which you live determine your IMAGE…
the truth you believe determines your INTEGRITY…
IMAGE – is what you are supposed to be;
INTEGRITY – is what you are…
IMAGE – is a photograph;
INTEGRITY – is the face…
IMAGE – comes over one from without;
INTEGRITY – grows up from within….
IMAGE – is what you have when you come to a new community;
INTEGRITY – is what you have when you go away.
Your IMAGE is made in a moment;
Your INTEGRITY is built in a lifetime…
Your IMAGE is learned in an hour;
Your INTEGRITY does not come to light for a year….
IMAGE grows like a mushroom;
INTEGRITY – lasts like eternity…
IMAGE – makes you rich or makes you poor;
INTEGRITY – makes you happy or makes you miserable…
IMAGE – is what men say about you on your tombstone;
INTEGRITY – is what the angels say about you before the throne of God.
I have often found that most people are more concerned with their IMAGE than their INTEGRITY. Your experiences may be different. I am not talking about the business/corporate world but rather the individual person.
Most people are consumed with their IMAGE (appearance). They must wear the right clothes, drive the right car, have their hair done a special way, eat at the right restaurants and go to the right clubs. I even know people who go to a certain church because of it’s size and they can say they go to this mega church.
The people look great… on the outside. How many of these same people will let the server at the restaurant know that they forgot to charge them for their desert? How about if they get too much change from the cashier? Heck I even know some (so called) Christians that would say, “The Lord blessed me!” if when they check out of a hotel they are not charged for the proper length of their stay!
Now don’t get me wrong, wanting to look good and have nice things is okay. However if it is your main focus in life and it comes at the cost of others then the IMAGE these people seek so hard to maintain will one day be their down fall.
INTEGRITY however can not be taken away from you. You own it lock stock and barrel. You hold the deed to your own INTEGRITY!
I have come up with my own definition of INTEGRITY. INTEGRITY is what you do (or don’t do) when you and God are the only ones who will ever know. The motive behind INTEGRITY is simply to do the right thing at all costs. Period. No grey areas, no situational ethics here, just doing the right thing… all the time.