You have to govern your life in such a way that you cannot act without integrity, even when you might want to. You do this by setting rules for yourself and following them without exception.
These rules have to be based on a standard you ascribe to in life that does not change, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. Your standard has to be something higher than the circumstances, because circumstances come all the time.
These rules have to be made known to the appropriate parties involved. One of the three components of acting with integrity is to let people know where you stand. Likewise, you have to let your loved ones and the people you work with know where you stand in terms of the standard and rules you have set for yourself since they are likely to be the ones helping you to follow or carry out these rules. They will also hold you accountable, which will help you, stay on track.
These rules have to be set before circumstances arise so that you are prepared to deal with them. If you wait until you are in the midst of a challenge to decide how you are going to handle it, you are likely to come up with all sorts of ways to compromise.
Also, never leave room for second-guessing or thinking twice about the rules you have made. Stick to them. Be true to the standard you have set for yourself.
Because I have set and followed rules for such a long time, I also benefit from having a sensitive conscience. This is good in that I know I would end up telling on myself if I did something wrong because I would have no peace. No minute of pleasure or any dishonest gain is worth giving up the ability to sleep at night. And this alone protects me form giving in to a lot of temptations.
Consequently, there is no way I could go to bed at night next to my wife after I had been intimate with another woman. I just could not--not because I am incapable of it, but because my conscience would not allow it. This kind of sensitivity has kept me from ruining my marriage, and this has been the ultimate payoff for me for living a lifestyle of integrity.
This devotional was excerpted from Dr. Price's book, "Integrity: The Guarantee for Success." You may call us at (800) 927-3436 or visit our website: www.faithdome.org for a complete list of his products.