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How to Make Decisions with Integrity

Bible-based guidelines to help you do the right thing

Doug Britton, MFT

Page Summary
Summary: This online Bible study encourages us to be people of integrity, practicing honesty and making wise choices.

Part 2 of a 4-part series on “Living with Integrity”

Part 1      Part 3      Part 4

Make wise choices — Introduction

Many years ago, I got a job working in the large storeroom of a retail store. The first day at work, the storeroom supervisor took me aside and told me I could steal one item of my choice every week. He said everyone on his crew did this. Then he explained the system they had set up to hide what they were doing. (I didn’t join in stealing.)

This might seem like an unusual situation, but we all face many similar decision points in life—times when we can choose to do the right thing or choose to do the wrong thing. We could choose to be rude, cheat on our income taxes, shoplift, cut in front of others in line, file a false insurance report, or do any number of other things that are unloving, inconsiderate, or illegal.

Make it personal

1. Imagine you returned home from shopping and noticed the clerk did not charge you for some items. How would you respond? Why would you respond that way?

2. How do you think God would want you to respond?

God has called you to live with integrity

The Bible encourages us to be people of integrity. Among other things, that means living with sincerity and honesty. It also means choosing to do good works.

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. (Proverbs 11:3)

Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. (Proverbs 13:6)

Make it personal

3. Why do you think integrity is important to God?

4. Do you want to be a person with integrity? Why or why not?

Choose to do the right thing

What does living with integrity look like? One way to describe integrity is to say it means doing the right thing.

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3)

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. (2 Corinthians 8:21)

Related: Seek to please God

Make it personal

5. Why do you think doing what is right is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice?

6. It’s important to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Why is it also important to do what is right in the eyes of other people?

Pray for wisdom and God’s guidance.

Listen to your conscience.

So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (Acts 24:16)

Ask yourself:

  • What does the Bible say about this?
  • Would God be pleased by this?
  • Would this draw me closer to God?
  • Would this push me further away from God?
  • Would this be honest?
  • Would this be legal?

If a decision would involve other people, also ask yourself:

  • Would this be loving?
  • Would this be kind?
  • Would this be good for the other person?

Make it personal

7. Which of these guidelines will help you do the right thing? Explain your answer.

8. Describe one situation in which these guidelines would help you.

Be honest on the job

Whether you work for someone else or are self-employed, you have many opportunities to do the right thing—or to do the wrong thing.

Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it. (Proverbs 1:19)

Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 10:2)

The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. (Proverbs 11:1)

A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. (Proverbs 21:6)

Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool. (Jeremiah 17:11)

Related: Tell the truth

Don’t steal.

It might be easy to take office supplies home from the office and pretend it wasn’t stealing because “everyone does it.” Or perhaps you could submit dishonest claims, charging the business for your personal expenses.

Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. (Leviticus 19:11)

If you own a business:

  • Don’t sell defective products.
  • Don’t make false (or misleading) claims.
  • Don’t do a bad job.

If you have been dishonest on the job, make it right. Ask God’s forgiveness, then take whatever steps are necessary. Return company property. Talk with your boss if there are issues that need to be resolved. Then work with integrity from this time on.

Make it personal

9. Have you been dishonest in your own business or as an employee?

10. Are there any steps you should take to make things right? Explain your answer.

Memory verse

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. (2 Corinthians 8:21)

Personal application

1. What is integrity?

2. Why is it important to God that you live with integrity?

3. When is it the hardest for you to live with integrity?

4. How can you remind yourself to do the right thing at these times?

5. What does “doing the right thing” mean?

6. Name three situations in your life when you chose to do the right thing.

7. Name three situations in your life when you didn’t choose to do the right thing.

8. Say a short prayer asking God to help you choose to do the right thing when you are faced with decisions.

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About Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

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