A man without integrity is like a person yelling into a bull-horn that is not turned on. No matter how loudly he screams, no one really hears him. Unless your life matches your lips you have no influence, no impact; you make no difference. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear you.”
The word “integrity” stems from the Latin derivative integer, which means completeness, wholeness. It is a mathematical concept; it implies having all the parts in sync. Ethically speaking, when our life fails to line up with our lips we have a failed integer, we are lacking the one component that makes the equation work.
Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees was from a failed integer. They imposed a non-biblical standard with their words, but their lives failed to comply with the very standards they imposed. Jesus called them hypocrites for their inconsistent behavior.
The truth is, our influence is in direct relation to the life we live, not the words we speak. Andrew Carnegie said, “As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” Live louder than your lips. Speak without saying a word.
Daily Reading: Exodus 13-15
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