During Parent Information Meetings, I tell prospective parents that if they really want their child to stand out in a crowd they should teach their child to walk in integrity. In a society where win at any cost seems to be more prevalent than do the right thing at any cost, integrity is more rare than it once was. Historically, those in leadership were those who set an example by living a life of integrity. They admitted to chopping down the cherry tree. Today, those legends of great honesty are more difficult to find. Integrity must be defined and discussed.
In her book Rising Strong, Brene Brown provides the definition of integrity that Logos Prep administration has chosen to use as a discussion piece. “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
Consider for a moment the three parts of this definition. First, we must choose courage over comfort. As a young adult, I was exposed to the story of how the Gulf Coast Blue Crab grows. When it outgrows its shell, it has to shed it and grow a new shell. For a time, it lets go of its protection and becomes a soft-shelled crab. Its choice is to become vulnerable and uncomfortable, or stay in the old shell and eventually die. Growth calls us to the risk of discomfort. Walking in integrity often requires pain, vulnerability, and courage.
It takes great courage to do what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. It also takes GRIT and character, or integrity. Cheating has become a cultural norm. When students cheat academically, they not only rob themselves of the opportunity to learn, but also damage their integrity and the integrity of any grade received. Still, students often choose the faster, easier option of cheating. There could be many reasons for this, but one can be the lies Dr. Kathy Koch says that teens tell themselves, “I deserve to be happy all the time.” (See video link below.)
God is much more concerned with our holiness than our happiness, but he has promised us the ability to experience contentment even in the midst of struggle and difficulty.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12 & 13
Let’s strive to teach our children contentment over happiness.
The third element of Brown’s definition of integrity is choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. Integrity has also been described as doing what is right when no one is watching. This is the opposite of hypocrisy. It is critical for a victorious life in Christ. A lifestyle of integrity does not come from knowledge alone, but from a heart set on living out Godly values.
It is our desire that graduates of Logos Prep will walk in true integrity, practicing courage, doing what is right, while professing and practicing the things of God. For we believe that, “He who walks with integrity walks securely” – Proverbs 10:9.
Koch talks about this is in relation to technology Kathyism #182 – “Lie #2: I Deserve to be Happy all the Time”
Head of School
Logos Preparatory Academy
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