Thomas J. Stanley conducted a survey of 733 millionaires to uncover key characteristics and principles common to them. He wrote of his findings in his book, The Millionaire Mind. I highly recommend it.
I get very excited when I read such books because their research validates what the Bible has taught for years. For example, I love it when modern medicine “discovers” a medical principle that is really an age-old Bible truth.
When asked what factors that they considered being very important to their financial success, thirty factors were mentioned most often. Their top five have great biblical significance.
The most mentioned essential for financial success? Being honest with people.
The dictionary defines integrity as being honest; sincere; a firm adherence to a code of especially moral values.
It’s understandable why honesty with people is so important in business when dealing with other people’s money or property. It’s just as important in relationships when dealing with another’s feelings.
Ladies, would you marry the best looking man in the world or the richest man in the world—or a man who was both!—if you knew he wouldn’t always be honest with you? Of course you wouldn’t! (I hope you didn’t have to think about it too long!)
Being less than honest is exhausting. Anything less than the truth requires more falsehoods. The problem with lying is that no one has a good enough memory to lie! Better to always be honest.
Most of the millionaires surveyed said that you won’t and shouldn’t achieve economic success without integrity. And it applies to every other area of life as well.
Integrity has nothing to do with being gifted intellectually. It’s a value that you must choose and cultivate.
What The Bible Says
I consider Psalm 15 to be the psalm of integrity.
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.” Psalm 15:2
That’s a good description of a person of integrity.
- He keeps his mouth in check. (Verse 3) He doesn’t speak lies or spread gossip.
She isn’t two-faced. (Verse 4) She doesn’t just go along to get along if it means befriending those who have low standards and personal character.
“He swears to his own hurt, and does not change.” (Verse 4) That’s a powerful description of a person of integrity.
Someone once said, “Integrity is keeping my commitment even if the circumstances when I made the commitment have changed.”
Sure, it will sometimes be easier to wiggle out of a deal especially when it may cost you something. But a short term loss now will always work for your gain in the long run.
Jesus said it best: “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.”
Every politician knows how to make promises, but how many stick to their guns?
She doesn’t take advantage of someone down on their luck. (Verse 5) Being honest and a person of integrity means doing what is right—all the time and every time—whether anyone will know it or not!
An Issue Of Trust
The foundation of every relationship—social or business—is trust. If I can’t trust you, why would I be your friend? Why would I date you or marry you?! Why would I do business with you?
If you aren’t honest with all people, you might gain something for a season, but you will lose big-time in the long run.
And you won’t—can’t—be a person of integrity unless you believe there is an absolute truth. People of integrity know there is a right and wrong!
Much of the world and its culture would try to convince you otherwise. Many today live by relative truth—generally whatever seems right in the moment. That often ends up being more about taking the easy way out than about what’s right.
Taking a stand for solid, biblical values and principles won’t always be easy, popular, or comfortable—but it is a better way and God will back you when you do.
The foundation of every relationship—social or business—is trust.
It’s Your Choice
Being honest and a person of integrity starts with being true to yourself.
- Do you keep commitments you make to yourself?
In your relationships with others, do you keep even the simplest commitments like being on time? Doing what you said you would do?
If a salesperson mistakenly charges you less, do you count that as a bonus from God, or do you point out the mistake?
If you verbally committed to sell something for a certain price, what would you do if another came and offered you more before the first took delivery?
These are the areas where true success lays its foundations. You do what’s right—all the time and every time—just because it’s right.
Question: What habit or action helps you cultivate personal integrity? Share your answer in the comments below.