A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
but wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Proverbs 11:1-3, NRSV
Living with Integrity Consistently
As libertarian Christians we believe that libertarianism is the most consistent expression of Christian political thought. This consistency of outlook on the world is highly attractive to those of us who seek a coherent view of the world. This is why we are sometimes open to being wrong about how we view the world, and are open to constantly adjusting. This internal consistency is important, not only as a way of thinking, but as a way of being. We’re fairly experienced at considering our own beliefs about the world, but how much effort do we apply to our behavior as others experience us?
About a year ago I was encouraged to consider what it was like for others to experience being in a relationship with me. At first the exercise was a bit jarring, but as I pressed in, it awakened a way of seeing my relationship with others in a new light for the first time. That experience was guided by a certain way of processing one’s own life, so I won’t dive into that here. Yet the result of seeking this level of understanding meant that I have been able to live with internal consistency in how I relate to others. That is, I have been relating to others with a greater level of integrity.
Serious Christians understand the importance of living with integrity
We value standing before God honestly. We desire consistency in our dealings with others. We know that living with integrity places a high value on being in relationship with us. Not only is this a key element in discipleship and spiritual growth, living in integrity is core to our being free as individuals. Being an undivided and steadfast individual provides solid ground for being a beacon of light in a dark world.
Note in the proverb above the phrase, “wisdom is with the humble.” If we want the godly wisdom to inform how we live with integrity, we can begin with being humble. This sometimes means paying close attention to our inconsistencies in behavior.
My children are adept at pointing out when I am being inconsistent or biased toward one of their siblings, or holding myself to a different standard. On my best days, I receive this feedback as a gift and adjust as necessary, sometimes apologizing. This is not a way of appeasing my children or reducing our authority over them, but as a way to live with greater integrity with them. This certainly applies outside the home as much as it does inside the home. Living free requires living with integrity, which is achieved with wisdom acquired only while walking humbly with God.