Erwin McManus shares some thought provoking thoughts on character, integrity, and authenticity that we all should digest in his book Stand Against the Wind: Fuel for the Revolution of Your Soul. You can purchase this book for a couple bucks and it is well worth it. This quote speaks as much to the culture of our day than anything I have read in a long time. The dangers to Christians and their faith are monumental as we hear more and more people who think sin is alright as long as you are upfront about it. I can’t help but think this is the backlash of people who don’t want to be hypocritical and so they put their sin out front and center. This grows into a justification for sin…as long as I am authentic about what I have done then my integrity can suffer. Here is the quote:
“You can’t say two different things at the same time and expect to be trusted. A person of integrity cannot say one thing and do another.
Integrity is the context from which courage is formed. Integrity, like wholeness, is a byproduct of our spiritual integration. ‘Integrity’ comes from the root word ‘integer,’ which means to be complete, indivisible – in other words, to be whole.
In our culture we have put an increasing value on authenticity and a decreasing focus on integrity. We have disdain for the pretentious and we long for anything that is real. But we mustn’t romanticize authenticity. When calling for authenticity, we need to take seriously the brokenness of the human heart. If we’re not careful, authentic can be the new word for arrogance. As long as you’re true to yourself how can anyone fault you, right? Authenticity can establish a self-righteousness that justifies abuse.
If we are committed to being the genuine article, first we’d better look closely as what we’re made of. Authenticity without integrity is lethal.”