What is our integirty worth?


#1

OK everyone here goes an age old question. It was once said that everyone has their price. Unfortunately to a point I do believe that. We may not do this consciously but uncounciously as human beings and sinners we do fall to sin. :eek: The good news is that we can be forgiven through the sacrament of reconciliation. :thumbsup: The bad news is that means we actually have to go “fess up” so to speak. So one of the things that I believe is if that we can look at some of the hidden motives of why we sin or “What our integrity is worth.” than we can either avoid those motives or seek to be more on guard for tempation. Let me give you an example:

Some may sell their integrity for a job: “Sure I can work overtime both Saturday night and all day Sunday so that I can be considered for promotion.” (missing mass/not keeping the Sabbath)

Some may sell their integrity for a signifigant other: “I am doing this to show my love for you even though it’s not right…” (lust)

Some may sell their integrity for acceptance of peers: “But mom… All the other girls are wearing them.” (modesty)

Where are your biggest temptations - what is your price and more importantly if you could share in this thread how you work around it it may be helpful to someone who is newly identifying that issue.

God bless,


#2

Sin? Could you define this word for me? I’m having trouble understanding the question.


#3

OK, in order to commit an act of mortal sin one has to have a conscious knowledge that the action is wrong and be able (mentally and physically) to make the choice to do the right thing or wrong thing. Choosing whether or not to commit mortal sin and the character trait of integrity based on this can go hand in hand if you define integrity as doing what is right. Now while I don’t believe most people on here would say they would have sex with someone for 25 Million Dollars or kill someone for x amount of dollars or shares in Microsoft there are things we do everyday and choices we make where we sacrifice little pieces of our integrity for other things. I am simply asking what those things are for different people and how they deal with avoiding them getting through them. Thanks. God bless,


#4

Here’s my poorly thought out response:

  1. Historically my biggest downfall has been that I have not had sufficient understanding to maintain that X is wrong in the face of vocal opposition to my view. I used to typically become confused and wonder if I was wrong about what was wrong. Often I only had my personal disgust of whatever it was to use as my objection, which made refusal difficult to maintain when accused of “selfishness”. Understanding Church authority and where it comes from and what exactly the Church teaches is helpful here.

  2. Now my biggest downfall is the desire to control my environment or make whatever it is stop. Perhaps it is an avoidance of suffering. I don’t mean control it in order to have it be a super comfortable, pleasurable environment. I don’t have a suggestion for what helps here. I can only say that it really helps to have plenty of sleep and take care of your health in general.

The things on your list might be my bigger downfalls, just they don’t come up so much. It isn’t that often that my job asks me to do something immoral or that my peers want me to do something stupid and my relatives already think I’m a loon and most fun things are not immoral.

But to answer your main question, nothing is worth our integrity. Losing it always hurts.


#5

According to Wikipedia:

Integrity comprises perceived consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles. Depth and breadth of a value system may also be significant factors due to their congruence with a wider range of observations[clarify]. A value system may evolve over time while retaining integrity if holders of that value system account for and resolve inconsistencies.

And this:

People allegedly “have integrity” to the extent that other people judge whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold. The etymology of the word “integrity” relates it to the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete).

Integrity can comprise the personal inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from (say) honesty and consistency of character.

Hypocrisy — which some people[who?] consider the opposite of integrity — results (according to some[who?]) when one part of a value system becomes demonstrably at odds with another and the person or group of people holding those values fails to account for the discrepancy.

So integrity means wholeness to me. I am what I am. Where every part of me is in agreement… all of me is working together, with the mind in the middle accomplishing the consensus.

Ah yes, there have been times this wasn’t so. Like when the conscience says ’ no, that is not right’ and the reason says ‘oh yes, I’ll prove it’. At times like these, we are fighting with ourselves, one part against another. The Harmony is gone, and the chaos begins. The times in my life when this has occurred is when my conscience would not let me off the hook, no matter what ‘rational’ reason I could concoct, no matter what source I quoted, no matter what authority said otherwise.


#6

I guess in this sense then it can almost be said that an atheist could have integrity if they do what they believe to be right and wrong on their system of morals. :eek: Uh oh, here comes the naysayers and objections. I can see this. However, I think that is where the word integrity differs from morals. There are some people within the walls of the Church that will tell you they don’t believe in everything the catechism says. When they break from these things (lets say a small thing) they may be immoral but still have integrity as it is still within their system of right and wrong. I guess the Wikipedia definition gives us quite a slippery slope. I orginally used the US Army definition of doing what is right. But I guess that does bring up even more interesting discussion since this thread never got going. Thanks Michael.

God bless,


#7

I would have said an atheist could have integrity and sometimes even more than some Christians. But I would like to add that some belief systems seem so at odds with our nature as people that even if one were to be true to it, somehow it would still have to be at odds with who they are, since they are human.


#8

Yes Pug, the making of different people is each from a different recipe. Generally, we are all alike, specifically we are different. The challenge is to “Know Thyself”.

Does one ‘really’ know themselves? As a kid, I had many hero’s. I could relate to them and their cause with my ideals. Physically I was like dad, mentally like the hero’s ideals, spiritually like my parents religion, with a ‘personal’ soul of my own. At 12, who was I? At 30, who was I? Had I changed from earlier? Was I changing or just growing? (One would mean I had altered, the other would mean I was the same) So, was I what I still am? Or, am I what I always was?

The answer to those questions has a direct reflection on ‘integrity’. In essence: can an oak tree be anything other then an oak tree from when the acorn sprouts? Or can it become a maple tree, instead of an oak? What is wholeness and when was it?

I tend to believe that we are becoming what we already are, it just takes some good-hard-living to bring it out. Ah, those personal surprises that tend to enlighten one. They help shed the illusions and show the reality of who one is. And we then ‘know thyself’ a bit better.


#9

MichaelDavid my fiance and I have had many discussions about this in relation to his daughter and how she will turn out being raised by grandparents we both feel are immoral. He was raised by the same parents. He was who he was. He was raised how he was raised which was at definite odds to who he is and was. This caused a lot of heartache when he was younger, much anger, much suffering. However, as he got older he learned he had to find his own way. He developed his own faith, etc and became his own person that ultimately is a much better functioning person with ten times the integrity of either of his parents. However, the strife that he went through trying bend one kind of tree into another certainly caused much anguish and pain. That anguish pain led to strength and understanding that made him who he is. He has forgiven and thanked his parents for not having been the best parents then. The only thing he really has not forgiven them for is interfering in his relationship with his daughter.

God bless,


#10

Quote: Joandarc: He was raised by the same parents. He was who he was. He was raised how he was raised which was at definite odds to who he is and was. This caused a lot of heartache when he was younger, much anger, much suffering."

So the oak has turned out to be an oak, instead of the maple his parents were…

Perhaps his daughter will also turn out to be what she is on the personal integrity level, which resides in the soul.

I have seen this with many kids/families. One is called the ‘black sheep’ by the family, or the outlaw. They just do not fit there. Theirs is the beat of a different drum. But it seems the oak prevails. I have also seen good families have some very obstinate kids… so it goes both ways. The anger and suffering goes both ways. Hopefully it settles in the later teen years or early adulthood when dealing with the real world has to be done, without the parents help.

Families are like a ‘grove’… a bunch of tree’s all alike. That is what the parents and grandparents hope to hand off to the younger ones. When really, it becomes more like a ‘forest’… with many varieties of tree’s all together. I believe a child is on loan (from God) to a parent to care for and see into an adult… after that, they will be who they are, who they always were. What the good Lord planted in that ‘unique’ Soul is what He will help it to become.

This leads me to when my conscience does not agree with what else is going on with me. I am at those times lacking integrity. How I proceed to follow that lead, is what makes life sooooo interesting. It is then that on a personal level (a soul level) that the watering and fertilizer is being applied by the good Lord.

On forgiveness… I do not agree with a lot of other people (their opinions), but I do forgive them. It has to do with Pride when forgiveness does not come. Am I so right for the other ‘unique’ person that they have to agree with me? No! My challenge in this life is to be me… become me… who I am, and that is all the good Lord wants of me. What He planted in the other person may not be the same as what He planted in me… and so life goes. What feelings surfaced while in that situation is normal for the person that was in it “because” of who they are, who they are becoming. At this point, Gratitude replaces Pride… and forgiveness has been done.


#11

We do hope very much that she turns out an oak and not the maple that she is being taught to be. We believe that the more they keep bringing her to the church but not living that life at home she will finally rise up on her own and want the answers to the questions that will come up in her own mind. She has a lot of intelligence. At this point we have decided the most loving thing we can do is step out and end the conflict in order not to rip her in half. When she is old enough to understand the oak/maple will seek whatever soil (parents) it will best be nurtured by and grow in. She is ten now and thinks she knows everything which means she can’t be told. We will wait for God’s time, not ours. Besides parents that steal children from their children can be punished with the teenage rebellion that we will miss out on. All that being said integrity and conscience can be rough sometimes. When we are at odds with ourselves we can never win. It also damages our self-esteem. I have heard it said that when you cannot love yourself you cannot love anyone else. So when you cannot love God’s greatest creation - the life He gave you - how can you love Him properly. There goes a slippery slope.

God bless,


#12

Joandarc, when you said “We will wait for God’s time, not ours.” A tear came to my eye. Your Faith that ‘God’s time’ will come precedes your desire in the here-and-now. It is so hard not to have what one wants when they want it… but, it’s called maturity.

What is Love? It is this suffering side of it that harden many hearts. Not yours! Yet! Hopefully never. And it can also be this suffering side that can awaken the heart to love again. And yes, love flows from the inside out (outside in when received from God) toward others. So if you have not, you do have trouble giving what is not there… smoke and mirrors, illusions, etc, are passed off as such. But, when you know it, on the soul level, it’s easy to see the fakes.

And, your daughter may have the same feelings as her father when she gets a bit older (even now). Hopefully he will have worked his through in order to be able to assist her with the same process. And of course, you too are there… and seem like your up to the challenge… in God’s time.


#13

It’s the weirdest thing - even though we never talked about it she and chose the same Saint for my confirmation and her CCD classes. Joan of Arc. It is very interesting. I found out well after the fact. She may not even really be my stepdaughter “legally” as her grandparents have adopted her but I feel that there is a connection that will play out much later in life. After all her father and I have a bond in love that is about to be blessed sacramentally why would his daughter and I not have a spiritual bond as well just by proxy.

God bless,

P.S.- It does me no good to be cynical. If I come to expect the best from people than I may be dissappointed but at least there is still hope for all of us including me.


#14

Joandarc, Do you feel God’s hand in this?

“It is very interesting. I found out well after the fact.”

Ah yes, we are lead where we are suppose to be when we get there… in God’s time.

PS: Hope you have a nice Loving Blessed Sacrament.

Keep in His Touch…


#15

MichaelDavid - i think in some ways I have felt God’s hand in this.

  1. Maybe my df’s daughter is supposed to teach her grandparents something that we do not yet understand.

  2. I have learned from it. I used to think that integrity was standing behind my principles. I must say that my in-laws and I no longer have anything to say to each other. It has brought to light for me that sometimes I can still have my integrity without having to stand up for it with others that do not care what I think in the first place.

I know that eventually the appearance of our “happy family” with the in-laws would have vanished and it is less painful now than it would have been a couple of years from now or at the wedding ceremony. I pray that God will touch them the same way he has touched my df and I but that will be His decision.

God bless,


#16

I used to think that integrity was standing behind my principles. I must say that my in-laws and I no longer have anything to say to each other. It has brought to light for me that sometimes I can still have my integrity without having to stand up for it with others that do not care what I think in the first place.

Very well put Joandarc.

Integrity is not something to be rammed down another’s throat… it is to be lived by you, “It is lived by you”. It is the why and how you live. Of course, living implies interaction with others, and there-in is how others see you, either aligned with how you see yourself or not. Others can speculate why you do some things, but you really know why, since you are living it. No one else has walked in your shoes all day like you do; no one else has thought all your thoughts for a day like you do; no one else has felt all the feelings you feel for a day like you do; (you get the idea), so, it is too hard to judge them, even their integrity without that knowing.

The little rudder turns the whole ship. Who is at the helm?

Integrity is you. It is like the cloths you wear, what others see you do at any given time. It can then be added up to come to a composite by others. By you, the conscience keeps a running log for you and lets you know when there are deviations. One’s morals are the greater percentage of this process. At times, the time is not right (God still needs time to put it all together for you), and at other times, it just clicks (in God’s time).

Standing up for your principles should only happen when another is not only attacking them, but also attacking you (because of them). Then it is time for an answer and/or rebuttal. CALMLY! Otherwise, your principals are to be lived by and through you… for the world to see… just like a rose.


#17

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