Integrity is something that you have to decide to have for yourself. Others can force you to be honest with them by use of consequences, though it’s always been easier to do so without prompting in my experience. The choice to be honest with yourself is not something that you always need to be worrying about, though it is something that you should take the time to think about. Kind of like taking an inventory on yourself once a month just like you can take a moment each month to go over the house finances.
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 119)
I’m not perfect and I won’t claim to be. I screw up and I have lied and I have stolen and I have done things for which I am ashamed to think of. I have not always been honest with others mostly because I have not always been honest with myself. It’s harder to be honest with another, completely honest, when you don’t want to be honest with yourself, but it is easy to judge another because they aren’t being honest and throwing stones and blame at another can make you feel better about yourself. There’s just something about pushing someone down that seems to push you up at the same time. Probably because the actual act of pushing something down has a spring-like reaction in pushing whoever is doing it physically up. (I like to think of it as the Spring Board Effect.)
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)
I got a lesson yesterday in personal honesty and integrity from my niece. She was cleaning out the closet that she shares with her mom and happened to find $55 in cash. It had fallen out of her mother’s jeans pocket earlier in the week and hadn’t been missed just yet. Instead of keeping some or even all of the money, she returned it after admitting that she had thought about keeping it, but decided that returning it would be a better use of her time.
She’s not even a teenager yet (almost, less than a year) and sometimes her simple honesty with others as well as herself helps to inspire me to not only want to be a better person, but to actually act on it and be one.