This article by John-Roger was first published in The Movement Newspaper, September 1983. We are coming to a crossroad in our lives when we’ll have to decide whether or not we’re going to live for our own personal gain or for the gain of humanity. It is with each of us that integrity must begin in order to bring harmony and balance to this planet.
We are all representatives of Spirit and God in the physical world. Even when you don’t know it or don’t want to claim it, you have to stand in the truth of that statement. It takes great courage to follow truth as a heartfelt response and that’s my definition of integrity.
The kingdom of heaven exists upon the earth and is open to all who will find the gateway. That gateway is your own personal integrity. When you stand with that, and are willing to die in that, your salvation is assured.
Everyone of us can have integrity on the same issue with different points of view. You may not always feel support from outside yourself, but you can experience inner peace and comfort when you express the belief of your own destiny.
When you grasp that rod of truth and listen to the sound of God speaking through you, the integrity of that will move you with strength. You’ll feel it as a discipline; the willingness to discipline yourself in this direction. Integrity is a straightener, an uplifter, a supporter and a knower. And all of that which is present inside of you is also inside of everyone else-everyone on this planet!
There are age-old values that are more important right now than they have ever been. I would like to state them for you.
- Do not argue with a person who wants to make you wrong and says he is right. For if a man believes with his whole heart, and it is opposed to your own convictions, then he is not wrong, even though you are not in agreement with him. Have the courage to choose the heartfelt response to those who may declare you wrong.
- Do not strike against the Light in another person’s consciousness. For when you come from that place of integrity, which is the Light, you won’t strike at anyone. We have no right to judge anyone because we don’t know what they’ve gone through even though we’d like to think we
- In the presence of a righteous person, do not scorn them or be swayed by them but rather have mercy on those who will not see. That doesn’t mean you’re seeing it right; it means you’re not seeing it the same way. Love them for that. You can love the person and not necessarily what they do.
- Do not judge whether a man is right or wrong in his beliefs or way of life. If you are as occupied with your own life as you should be, you will not have time for judgments or criticisms. Before you judge another person or situation, walk around yourself first to see if everything is in perfect order. Then maybe you will have an opportunity to assist another.
- Choose your- friends, environment and possessions carefully. If you approach everyone with love and confidence, you will find you are in possession of everything you will ever need or want. It’s very important then if we want to be involved with enlightened people that we move ourselves in with those people who are demonstrating the qualities of character and integrity.
- Give heed to the cries of others who need your help. Have mercy on those who need your mercy. Be thoughtful of those who are worthy of your thoughtfulness. But do not give one inch to those who would push you aside to gain for themselves.
- Do not surrender meekly to those who would tread upon you in their search for personal power under the guise of integrity. Do not waste time explaining your motives to those who question them for materialistic and selfish reasons.
- When another would harm you by his vitriolic words, nullify the effect by smiling calmly and refusing to affirm or deny his accusations. Accept or return his insults and when his words strike against the impregnable wall, they can only bounce off and return to the sender.
- He who speaks quietly and only when asked to speak does so without demand of gratitude and will move serenely through life in spite of others actions. This person is one who lives in truth and doesn’t need to prove it to anyone. He is one who worships the Lord and is a wayshower to others.
- Give of yourself to all who come your way for it is a privilege to serve in the name of the Lord. However, temper your giving with an intelligence of a like degree. Give all you have of your understanding, faith and power in order to help those who would find their way to God. Giving your knowledge does not include giving your every thought to those who would attach themselves to you because their own wills are too weak. Giving your time does not mean giving to one individual to the exclusion of all others. Giving your heart does not mean giving all your material wealth.
- Be careful that you don’t step into your ego. Don’t be anxious to go out and declare something as integrity and stand in it. As surely as you put out a teaching, it’s going to come back to you to see if you know what the teaching is all about.
How can you tell if a person is living a life of integrity? I have found two landmarks that are always present: courtesy and consideration. Isn’t it amazing how we were told that on our mothers’ and fathers’ knees.
They taught us to be courteous to our elders and to be considerate of our fellow man. Even though we know better, we don’t always do that. For the favors of another person, many a man has surrendered one of his most precious possessions–his integrity. Once it is given away, the struggle to regain it is a long and miserable one.
Watch carefully how you sell yourself. Whatever it is, it’s not as valuable as you are. And remember that whatever you sell yourself to, it won’t last. So, build those things inside yourself which are solid and cannot be shaken.
It is easy to give into despair, give up to mistakes and give out resentment.
The real challenge to test your integrity is to be strong enough to cast away despair, conquer the desire to stop trying because errors have been made and hold no malice toward anyone. This is the one who demonstrates integrity.
How exciting to look at someone and feel loving for them to such a degree that no matter what they say or do you can find the positive upliftment for yourself.
In all of this which is integrity, there are diversifications and ample opportunity for expression. But when you’re expressing out of that heartfelt place, with the courage of your convictions and the truth that’s in you, the glory of God is with you and no one can take that away from you. You have a responsibility to “be true.” That truth may not be able to be seen or explained except as you catch it inside yourself. As amazing as it may be, when people claim integrity and they don’t have it–you will know it. And there will be those who don’t know about it and you’ll know they have it. Their characteristics will be loving, serving, caring, reaching out and being with people.
No one on this earth totally lacks integrity. Remember that. Nobody can totally lack anything, because we’ve all got part of the good and part of the bad. We’ve all got health in us and we’ve all got some diseases. And the integrity of who we truly are, just is. There’s no other way to explain that. And we must allow the space for everyone else to be who they are too — other countries, other cultures, other religions and other beliefs. There is room for everyone and there is no need for conflict.
Integrity is inside of you and has always been there. When you first become aware of it, will it shake you? Yes, because you may have to go against all the things you’ve believed in before and all the things you’ve said; you may have to disavow them. And when you do, you can step into and claim your own integrity.
Personal integrity…it begins with you!