When did integrity die in our country? Was it a slow death? Or did we just wake up one day as a nation and decide that integrity had no social, personal, or moral value so we chose to discard it like most other consumable things we toss in this society?
When did the standard of being a person of integrity stop applying to those individuals who would seek to serve our country in government? Why does our nation tolerate individuals that serve or wish to serve in public office, when they demonstrate patterns of behavior such as dishonesty, misrepresentation, corruption, and fraud? Where is the personal integrity and where is the accountability from the people of the nation?
How is it that individuals like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and others in the political arena today can rise to such a high level of public favor in the polls when their official and unofficial behavior, their record of questionable decision making, and pattern of deliberate evasiveness is seen day after day, week after week? Where is the personal integrity? Where is the professional integrity?
The actions and decisions of many public officials clearly demonstrate a lack of integrity and a self-preservation and self-satisfaction that will not be deterred. And yet our nation applauds these people and raises them to a position of honor and acclaim that is unparalleled. Are these really the kinds of people that we as a nation want to have in a place of leadership? Do we really want them in charge of our nation’s finances? …Our nation’s military? …Our nation’s laws? …Our nation’s future as an international superpower?
A candidate’s positional support for programs, issues, and forms of leadership are borne out of their integrity. The moral standards in our country have devolved to a state of undefined personal preferences and relativistic self-centeredness and as a result the standard by which we hold government officials has been lowered to a similar level. So it is not surprising that our elected officials demonstrate that same level of offense and deflection when called to give an account for their actions.
Could it be that by becoming a moral, social, and sexually relativistic and tolerant society that there is no room for integrity? Integrity in and of itself implies a standard…a measure of character that is worthy of achieving and that is held in high regard and sought after. There are few standards in our society today, so it becomes a vote based on the “lesser of two evils”, rather than an election based on character, qualification, and integrity.
To take this train of thought a bit further, consider what has happened to our national integrity. We are not united as a nation against the evil in this world because we are not united as a nation…PERIOD. We no longer have a national integrity based on a common set of morals, values, and intentions. Frankly, “One nation” can no longer be our claim because in losing our individual integrity we have forsaken our national integrity. Our national integrity was formed and evidenced in the integrity of our character as individuals which at one time not so long ago, was founded on the moral precepts found in Scripture.
In the Bible, in Psalm 7:8 it says “The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.”
Similarly, in scripture Proverbs 2:6-8 record these words “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”
Integrity is honored by God. Integrity is highly esteemed by God. Just consider the record of the life of Job in the Bible and you will see that the only thing he had left and that he would “hold fast to”, when all else was stripped away from him, was his integrity.
So as you listen to and observe the actions the candidates, consider their integrity…is it above reproach? Don’t measure it against the world or even yourself, measure it against the standard of Scripture and then determine where they stand. Perhaps the idea of separation of church and state is not such a foreign concept…but that is a blog for another day.