By Robert L. Kilmer, Chaplain, Aston Twp. Police Dept., Law Enforcement Chaplains of Delaware County

Webster defines the word integrity as, “The quality of being honest and trustworthy; the condition of being whole; not being broken into parts.” When ships are going into rough seas, they set “watertight integrity”. Certain hatches must be securely closed so that water is unable to enter the ship and sink her. If a little water is allowed to get through the seals it could build up and flood the ship. In order to prevent this from happening the hatches must be well maintained. Rubber gaskets and knife edges must remain free of paint, rust and/or gouges which could allow water to seep through. Our lives must maintain integrity as well. If we follow God’s Word we can maintain our integrity.

One of the things God tells us in His Word is found in Psalm 119:165; “Great peace have they which love Thy Law; and nothing shall offend them.” That means we should not take offense when we hear something we do not agree with or like. TAKE NO OFFENSE! We must have integrity of the heart, mind and soul. I need to check my integrity often. We take offense over too many things today:

  • Not getting enough recognition –yet we recognize the faults of others
  • Not enough being done for us –but too much being done to us
  • Someone forgets to say hello –so we never say hello to them again

Integrity… real integrity… won’t allow us to take offense into our hearts. Once we allow bad thoughts into our head, they multiply and travel to our hearts. Once there, we become infected with these thoughts to the point where it starts to affect others. We need to realize that these bad thoughts need to be contained so that our integrity is maintained, otherwise it will turn into bitterness. Our integrity will be compromised. I remember being on an aircraft carrier in the China Sea back in 1956. We were refueling from a tanker. The seas were rough that day and the tanker slammed into us causing a 14’ hole to be punched into our port side. Just before the collision this voice came over the squawk box telling us to avoid the port side. Too late!
However, our damage control people got right on the job and repaired the damage so that the water was contained to the one compartment. They maintained our water tight integrity.

Things we do at home, on the job, meeting with friends, no matter where we are, reflect who we are.

  • In I Kings 9:4 God speaks of David walking in integrity of heart before Him;
  • In Job 2:3 & 9, Job held fast his integrity before God – despite his wife and friends;
  • Proverbs 20:7 says: “The just man walks in his integrity – his children are blessed by it”;
  • III John, verse 4 states, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk
    (live) in truth.
  • Take no offense. Do you love God’s Word?Maintain your knife edges instead of throwing knives.
  • Give no offense. Do you love who you are? Maintain your gaskets instead of blowing one.