I have to admit one of the areas I struggle most in business is with my integrity.
I’m often late to meetings. I sometimes cancel appointments or don’t even show up. I set weekly meetings in place for my team members, all with good intentions, but then I can’t keep up with the weekly commitment, and I drop off.
Yet in other areas of my business, my integrity is on the spot. I finish my projects with excellence, all the way to the end. I pay my bills on time. I try not to use credit. I don’t lie, cheat, or steal from people.
But the thing with integrity is that I can’t have integrity in one area of my business and not have it in another. The definition of integrity won’t allow for this division.
The Definition of Integrity in Business
Integrity in business has a single devotion to clean hands and a pure heart. Integrity is like a pure glass of water. If you throw just a single drop of food coloring, the glass is no longer pure.
For us, business owners, having integrity goes well beyond avoiding cheating, lying, and overall bad behavior. Integrity is one whole glass of water, meaning our actions aren’t something we can mix into the water and take out easily.
We all have moments where we damage our integrity, areas of our business where we can get away with skillful deception, and people we gossip about. All of these things can keep us from the MORE that God has set aside for us – from the blessed business life.
Those of us seeking to achieve greatness in business must learn to build, defend, and clean our integrity.
How do we become the type of Godpreneurs that keeps their integrity in all areas of our business (and personal) life? What do we do if we’ve done so much to our integrity that we feel it’s been lost forever? How can we begin and stick to a plan of purity of heart?
In the most famous preaching ever given on the planet, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount lays out the eight beatitudes, which are qualities of the people that enjoy special favor from God. I believe these qualities are the keys to unlocking the next levels of achievements in our businesses.
The sixth beatitude gives practical advice; we need to keep our word more often in business.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
(Matthew 5:8 NIV)
Why is Your Integrity Important?
Why is being in integrity and having a pure heart so important? Because then God reveals Himself to us, and when we see business the way the Creator of commerce sees it, we enter a new level of understanding of our industry, marketplace, and people we do business with.
When you have a pure heart, you get a “sixth sense” of God’s reality in business. Yet without integrity, our deceptions can stay so long that we don’t even see that our glass of water is dirty because your eyes get used to seeing through the tainted water.
Impure entrepreneurs have no desire to see God, but you are a Godpreneur who is part of Christ’s kingdom and are blessed because you see reality as it truly is, including the reality of God.
What We Need to Do to Keep Our Integrity
So what does it take to purify our hearts and keep our integrity in business?
First off, integrity doesn’t come from us trying to clean it, buy it, or work it out, but from reception of God’s grace.
Integrity is a tough subject because we’ve got all these pockets of our business where, if we were honest, we lack integrity. We’ve fallen short, our glass of water is murky, and all these moral failures arise that make us think, “man, I’m a mess, and I got a lot of cleaning up to do!”
Listen, we could all make a similar list of failures.
And that’s where the integrity begins – with a confession.
Confessing our bad works in business is the beginning of God doing good works through our business.
Notice, I said, “God doing good works.” The transformation for gaining and defending your purity of heart will come from God. We need to keep it real and confess our areas of weakness and ask God to reveal more areas so He can immediately clean them.
We need to admit that we don’t always keep our promises, we often gossip, we sometimes slack off, and we pretend to be someone we’re not.
And we can’t compartmentalize our life and clean up our business integrity and not the integrity in our personal lives. Remember, integrity is one whole glass of water, and eventually, one compromised area can spread to the entire cup. This means that it will affect the business, too, because while sin may be personal, it’s never private.
There’s No Such Thing as Perfect Integrity
Look, none of us, Godpreneurs, is perfect, but God doesn’t expect us to run perfect businesses! He does, however, expect us to have integrity, and we start by owning up to our sins — no matter how long our list is.
God is more interested in our hearts than our sins. We’re never going to be perfect. We’re never going to be sinless in business, but we can sin less.
Imagine if we all chose integrity? How much better of a marketplace would it be to transact in? How much more could God do through us? How much better would our products and services be if they were all produced from pure hearts?
Let’s all choose to have pure hearts moving forward.