When I was in Bible college, I was introduced to a definition of integrity. One of my professors told us that “integrity is who you are when no one is looking.” The concept is that your true nature and character are revealed in those quiet moments alone.
The possibility exists that when you are in the presence of other people, you can pretend to be something you are not. We call someone with that type of behavior a hypocrite. The title is actually derived from the ancient theater. Someone who plays the role of another person on stage was called a hypocrite or an actor.
Jesus usually assigned this name to the Pharisees and religious leaders of his day. They cared more about how other people viewed them than about God. He saw this as the worst form of religious action.
The pressure to perform for the crowd has existed since Jesus day, but I believe the appeal is far greater today. Now everyone has a tiny video recorder and camera in their pocket. They can take a picture or video and put it on social media in an instant. Without much effort, my good works can be displayed before the world, and I can develop the reputation for my faith. We can easily slide from serving God into playing for the crowd and the applause of people.
My new definition of integrity is, “Who you are when no one is filming.” Godly character is best displayed without social media.
Let me give you three clarifying questions for you to consider:
1. Do you behave differently when there is a camera present?
2. Do you secretly hope someone films you serving so that others can see it?
3. Are you embarrassed or excited when you see yourself on social media?
Maybe this is not a concern for you at all, but it always good to have a quick heart check up.
I believe Jesus wants you to serve him with your whole life and in 2017 you may occasionally be caught on camera. It happens without your knowledge or approval all the time. But we must always guard against our lives from becoming an actor for the camera before we are servants of God.
What would happen if the next time you served God with a group of people, no one took a picture or filmed anything?
Your response to that question may reveal your integrity.