“Integrity is the anchor in every great relationship; make sure it is the anchor in yours as well.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
In a world where anything goes, integrity often gets lost. When it comes to relationships, though, integrity is paramount. Integrity is about honor, values, and doing the right thing even when others aren’t. The litmus test for integrity lies in your actions, not your beliefs. How you treat others to their face as well as behind their back is the best sign of whether someone lives their life with integrity or not.
Choosing your actions based on right and wrong, common decency, and high regard for humanity is not an easy road. When others hurt you, wanting to make them hurt in response is a normal reaction. Revenge is often bittersweet though; it may feel good at the moment, however, it usually has a lingering, bitter aftertaste long after the moment has passed. Similarly, acting out in ways that feel good to you without regard to how that action harms others leaves that save bitter aftertaste. Regardless of whether your cheating, drinking, overspending, or (fill in the blank) is discovered or not; those choices damage the foundation of your relationship. Decisions made out of integrity harm relationships—even when those decisions aren’t discovered right away.
When your decisions don’t center around a core set of values, there are no guideposts for your actions and subsequently little safety in your relationships. Without an ethical road map driving your decisions, “anything goes,” compassion gets lost, and hearts get broken. No relationship can survive, in any healthy way, such a selfish, destructive roadmap.
Challenge: Put integrity at the forefront of your relational decisions. If you’re unsure if a specific action is of integrity or not, ask yourself these three questions:
- Would I be okay with someone doing this to me?
- Would I be okay with someone doing this to my child?
- Would I be okay with my loved ones, co-workers, and friends discovering I did this?
If the answer to any of the above is no, then chances are, what you’re thinking about doing is out of integrity.