What is integrity? What does it mean for Christians in our workplaces? What does the Bible say? Rev Jack Thevathasan speaks about his experiences and shares tips for protecting our integrity.
Not that many people have been fired for the lack of knowledge of their jobs, because training and exposure can fix that. However, people do get laid off more often because of a lack of integrity at the workplace. We are aware that people do feign illnesses to skip work and may even buy medical certificates.
There are also those who waste the company’s time by walking around, talking and having frequent toilet and coffee breaks. There are also the bigger issues of integrity that involve sex, money and fraud.
“Integrity” can be defined, in simple words, as maintaining high standards and following the rules, even when no one is watching.
It is a very important quality for our everyday life if we wish to be upright people. This is especially so if we are Christians.
The sad thing is, if you ask some people what integrity means to them, they will probably tell you that it does not mean much, and some may not even know what integrity is. Certain people feel that they need to break specific rules in order to survive in this dog-eat-dog world.
It is also difficult to find people who have high integrity, honesty and moral values.
The world would be a far better place to live in if all the lying, cheating, theft, and other offences committed by dishonest individuals who lack integrity and moral values could be stopped. In the office environment, it is not uncommon to have power struggles among staff and backstabbing occurring among people who are in a rush to climb the corporate ladder.
As Christians, we must remember that promotion does not come from the East or the West but from the Lord. (Psalms 75:6) So we do not have to follow the ways of the world and backstab others to get promoted. For Christians, our promotion ought to come from our diligence and integrity. Then, God’s favor will be upon us.
The Bible talks about a man named Daniel who was a man of integrity in the workplace. In Daniel 6:4-5 (NLT), it says, “Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.’”
Daniel was a God-fearing man in high office; no one could find any corruption in him. His one “fault” was that he continued to worship his God in spite of the king’s edict. Surely, Christians need to be Daniels of the 21st century in our workplaces.
When I was working, my superior once confronted me about something inappropriate I had said in private. He came to know about it. In front of him, I did not deny it; but admitted my fault and apologized sincerely for what I said. I realized it is important as Christians, when we have committed a mistake; that we should be honest and frank in our confession. I was not concerned about my promotion or future, but only about my integrity before man and God.
There were many challenges when I started work in the Singapore Air Force. One of the first challenges during my training in the RAF in the UK was the temptation of drinking alcohol. You see, my church taught me that it is wrong for Christians to consume alcohol—a moral integrity issue for me. So when I was there in the UK, I refused to drink even wine. I discovered that my fellow officers respected my stand. With that initial victory, it became easier for me later to say ‘no’ to worldly pleasures of the workplace: lying, gambling, immorality, betting and so forth.
If our integrity before man and God means a lot to us, we must resolve to guard our own integrity jealously and refuse to buckle under pressure from anyone.
About Rev Jack Thevathasan
Rev Jack Thevathasan was an officer in the RSAF, while being involved in church ministry in his earlier years. He pioneered works in Harvester Church and Calvary Charismatic. He has served as an AG minister for 43 years. 17 of those years were devoted to Berean AG (now called Harborlight Church) as Senior Pastor, followed by seven years as Assistant Pastor in two different churches. He was in the AG Executive Council for five years as General Secretary and Council Member, National Youth Director and Sectional Presbyter, and has served as a Teen Challenge Board Member. He is now an itinerant minister, speaking in churches, youth groups and other ministries.