Houston Forward Times

11 June 2014 Written by  Rev. Manson B. Johnson II

LESSON 4: THE PILLAR OF INTEGRITY

12 PILLARS OF CHARACTER FOR TOOL BOX MEN/BOY

(TOOL BOX MEN & BOYS BUILDING FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING)

THE BIG IDEA: Things that last in life are built from the inside out.

Bible Fact: Men & boys that make the Word of God their tool box for building their personal lives will please God and have great success.

Joshua 1:8; I Corinthians 13:11

As a TOOL BOX man or boy’s character is being built God is at work inside of them to do four (4) valuable things: It is up to each individual man and boy to do at least four (4) things to help the greatness and completeness of their potential to come out:

(1) he must cultivate the small potentials;

(2) he must culturalize his development process;

(3) he must cooperate with a system of standards that will keep him growing in the right

direction; and

(4) he must communicate often with the creator of his true potential for the rest of their life.

"Integrity is also attributed to various parts or aspects of a person’s life. We speak of attributes such as professional, intellectual and artistic integrity. However, the most philosophically important sense of the term ‘integrity’ relates to general character. Philosophers have been particularly concerned to understand what it is for a person to exhibit integrity throughout life. What is it to be a person of integrity? Ordinary discourse about integrity involves two fundamental intuitions: first, that integrity is primarily a formal relation one has to oneself, or between parts or aspects of one’s self; and second, that integrity is connected in an important way to acting morally, in other words, there are some substantive or normative constraints on what it is to act with integrity.

How these two intuitions can be incorporated into a consistent theory of integrity is not obvious, and most accounts of integrity tend to focus on one of these intuitions to the detriment of the other. A number of accounts have been advanced, the most important of them being: (i) integrity as the integration of self; (ii) integrity as maintenance of identity; (iii) integrity as standing for something; (iv) integrity as moral purpose; and (v) integrity as a virtue..". ---Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First published Mon Apr 9, 2001; substantive revision Fri Jan 25, 2013

One of the most famous trials in history was that of Benjamin Francois Courvoisier in London in 1840, who is now immortalized in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Courvoisier was a Swiss valet accused of slicing the throat of his elderly employer, Lord William Russell. What made this trial notorious was the argument for the defense. The police had bungled the investigation. The evidence against Courvoisier was entirely circumstantial or had been planted. One of the officers had perjured himself, and the maid’s testimony brought suspicion on herself. The defense attorney, Charles Phillips, was convinced of the innocence of Courvoisier and cross-examined witnesses aggressively. At the beginning of the second day of the trial, however, Courvoisier confessed privately to his lawyer that he had committed the murder. When asked if he were going to plead guilty, he replied to Charles Phillips, "No, sir, I expect you to defend me to the utmost." Phillips was faced with a dilemma. Should he declare to the court that the man was guilty, or should he defend Courvoisier as best he could? Should he break the confidentiality of the client-lawyer relationship, or should he help a guilty man to possibly go free? Which is more important--truth or professional duty?

Phillips decided to defend the guilty man. But despite Phillips’s efforts, Courvoisier was convicted. When the dilemma was later made public, Phillips’s decision to defend a murderer horrified British society and brought him a great deal of criticism.  ---Klyne Snodgrass, Between Two Truths - Living with Biblical Tensions, 1990, Zondervan Publishing House, pp. 11- 12.

Defined: What is it?

Integrity: the steadfast adherence to a learned set of rules or principles that apply to human character development that produces honesty and fairness. Integrity is to do the right thing.

Questions:

Do you think the lawyer had a moral right to let the court/judge know about the admission of his client? Why?

Do you think that circumstantial justification is enough to be less than honest or fair in a given situation? When it is OK or right to steal or to be less than honest?

Demonstrated: What will it do or how is it applied in life?

Integrity is always a personal decision but can cause harm to others; Genesis 12:10-20

The Tool Box man or boy seeks God guidance for his decisions in spite of the thoughts of friends; I Samuel 24:1-20

The Tool Box man or boy resists tempting moments to preserve the future of his rewards; Genesis 39:8-12

Reward: How does it benefit?

The Lord keeps and blesses those that maintain their integrity; Psalm 7:8; 25:21; 26:1,11; Proverbs 20:7

Demonstrating integrity leads to favor from God and prosperous living; Daniel 1:8-20

Enduring integrity will ultimately lead to personal satisfaction and gives glory to God; Job 42:10-12