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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Proving Ground | Living with Integrity

The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Proverbs 11:3


Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

Proverbs 14:2


The LORD abhors dishonest scales,
but accurate weights find favour with him.

Proverbs 11:1



In the Bible, integrity is a big deal in our relationship with God. These three short extracts from the book of Proverbs remind us that God values faithful and honest dealing very highly, and that dishonesty shows a contemptuous disregard for God.

I was once traveling by plane from Brisbane to Sydney. Relaxing into my seat, I noticed an official looking folder in the seat pocket in front. It contained the confidential board papers for a major company, which had been left by mistake by a director on the previous flight. It was a company I was interested in, and I had a great desire to read what was inside.

Thinking of myself as a person with reasonable integrity, I was surprised at the intensity of the moral battle that started waging in my head. Would I like someone to read my private papers if I had left them on a plane? No! That seemed to settle it.

But then another little voice started up. ‘Perhaps I should just take a peek so I know what’s in them when I return them’ – trying to rationalise bad behaviour!

‘Perhaps this is a God-given opportunity…’ Where did that thought come from?! Happily, that little battle of integrity was won. I resisted temptation and returned the papers to a very thankful board member when I arrived in Sydney.

All of us face daily choices which test our integrity, whether in big ethical decisions in professional practice, or simple tests of honesty when you might be tempted to steal other people’s ideas, when the shopkeeper undercharges you in error, or when you find something of value left on a plane!

A friend of mine is a sole-trader roofing contractor. He described to me the culture of lying and deceit on the site of a major building project he worked on. Everyone was being ‘encouraged’ to cut corners. My friend told his boss, ‘Don’t even think of asking me to lie for you’. He had drawn his line in the sand.

In whatever situation we are in, each of us has to decide where to draw our line.

The psalmist prayed: ‘May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you’ (Psalm 25:21) – a great prayer to take to work with us every day.

Graham Hooper
Graham is a Company Director and former Senior Executive with a global infrastructure company. His latest book Proving Ground – 40 Reflections on Growing Faith at Work is published by Christian Focus. 

What tests of integrity do you face in your daily work? Where do you draw the line and make a stand? Join in the conversation in the comments below.


Proving Ground | Testing Situations 3/5


  1. Thank you for the reminders from Proverbs. My email address is @4keys.co.uk and the first of the ‘4Keys’ is integrity. The other three are servanthood, excellence and stewardship. I call it the gospel in four words.

    My favourite stories about integrity are:

    In the first case the man told of how he had made a phone call to chase up a supplier who was failing to keep his delivery promises. He was put through to the office of one of the directors where the call was answered by the secretary. She explained that her boss was not in his office. He politely challenged this by saying that he was disappointed that her boss had asked her to lie for him just because he did not want to take the call. She insisted that this was not the case and that he was out all day. To which he responded by saying that he was sad that she felt that she had to lie for him; he knew that he was in because his office was on the opposite side of the road and he could see him sitting at his desk

    How could he trust them in the future?

    The second was a young lady who explained that her company had asked her to move to a more senior secretarial role, working for one of the directors. She knew that he had something of a ‘reputation’ but decided that God was calling her into the new role. On her fist morning she went into her new boss’s office and very calmly and quietly said: “I believe that it is very important that we start off with a clear understanding that I am a Christian and that I believe integrity is the basis of a good working relationship. I will never lie FOR you, so you can be sure that I will never lie TO you.

    What a great way to start!

    By Richard Emery  -  9 Jan 2023
  2. Did either of these companies have a mechanism for reporting dishonesty or dealing with fraud or corruption? Is there any requirement for disciples of Jesus to do something about a lack of integrity at a structural level? It might be costly of course. But then discipleship often is, as John the Baptist found to his cost.

    By Robert  -  23 Jan 2023

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