Duplicity – a contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action. Otherwise known as being deceitful, devious, two-faced, underhanded, dishonest, a cheat, unjust and unfair.
The question is; how often do each of us allow duplicity to be part of our speech, conduct and character?
We may reason away our dishonesty and tendency to disguise falsehood as truth, but every time we exaggerate, embellish the facts, rationalise, seek to deceive, lie, evade the truth, string someone along, and cheat we act in duplicity.
Sadly we have all become accustomed to duplicity and deception because we are surrounded by governments, people in prominent positions, businesses, the books, magazines and marketing we read, movies and television and the media who are known to lie, exaggerate, embellish and evade the truth for their own gain, or in their efforts to gain power.
Surrounded by duplicity it can become easy for us to think it is “no big deal” if we don’t tell the whole truth; if we cheat, lie to our partner or spouse, cheat on a test or assignment, and are dishonest and even underhanded in our dealings with our families, friends and associates. We think it doesn’t matter, yet looking at society and our inability to trust one another tells us that duplicity is eroding away who we are.
God however has a better way, and as we spend time in His presence and meditating on His word deceitfulness is removed and continually washed out of our lives, to be replaced by integrity.
One definition of integrity is: “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.
As we choose to stay vitally connected to God He strengthens and enables our “yes to be yes, and our no to be no”. He teaches us how to profit honestly, and to be live free from double mindedness, dishonesty and lying in our thoughts, speech, conduct and character.
The more we look and seek to be like Jesus who is perfect in integrity the more we reflect Him and that integrity is what will guide us in our behaviour and relationships.
The bible says, “the integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”. (Proverbs 11:3)
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” (Proverbs 2:6-8)
We all desire for others to behave with integrity towards us, and to know when people aren’t’. But perhaps the best gauge and example to set is for each of us to seek to walk in integrity ourselves.
How wonderful it would be if we could trust another’s word and intentions, and how liberating it would be if our lifestyle reflected this trait more than any other. For “few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just Cracker Jack clean living, just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” (Chuck Swindoll)
“Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we refuse to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you reject the temptation to give up”. (Rick Warren)
Today, take some time to draw near to God and to spend time reading His Word. It will be a guide to our steps, and renew our minds and hearts. “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)
Prayer: Lord please help me live a life of integrity and to walk uprightly in my thoughts, speech, and actions. Fill me with your truth and love and remind me of who I am in you today. In Jesus name Amen.