Integrity is more than just doing the right thing when no one is around – it’s about doing the right thing from the heart in all situations. Uriah the Hittite exemplifies this aspect of integrity.
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses [that] of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20
This principle is summed up by its paraphrase: “Demonstrate virtue and purity that exceeds those who are merely following external commands.”
A life of integrity is one that is not driven solely by a list of do’s and don’ts. Right actions should spring from a willing heart, not from a grudging sense of obligation. It’s not just a matter of doing the right thing, but doing the right thing for the right reasons, with the right attitude.
The example of Uriah the Hittite – 2 Samuel 11
Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”
Once the heart is sincere and motives are pure, actions of true integrity will follow.