Integrity as C.S Lewis states is “Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” It can also been seen as the ‘personal choice to hold one’s self to consistent standards’ (Wikipedia).
So what does integrity mean to you? Have you seen it modeled well in your life, or have you lost trust in others because integrity was not upheld? We all know that this trait of integrity can have a powerful impact on our ability to have true and honest relationships. It is a trait that tests our character and the very motives of our hearts, which is why this is such a foundational value of ours here within SAF life. Our motives, words and our actions have very real consequences on the community we serve and belong to, which is why we continue our personal recovery as a day by day process. We desire for our lives to have a positive impact on the people around us, and to remain consistent and true regardless of situation or circumstance.
I had the privilege of interviewing one of our SA recovery facilitators about what integrity means to her and how it is applied to the work she does with the women we serve. She states:
“I understand integrity to mean to mean that my personality doesn’t change dependent on environment or the people I am with. I share a lot of my personal adventures on a daily basis with whoever is in my life, particularly with the women I mentor. As a Christian I am called to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus, where I get the privilege to meet with those in the midst of pain and struggle and come alongside them.
Just earlier I met with a lady I am mentoring in the community, who struggles to parent her daughter in a way that brings her family closer due to issues she has with her own mother and the role modelling she had been exposed to. I was able to bring her alongside my life today, showing the example of how to integrate motherhood with the daily routines. I try to live the example for others to follow.
Life is practical…it is not a philosophy. We don’t need to be idealists. We need to get real. You see, to live with integrity, situations should not be the governors of who we are…we should govern the situation by who we are.”
How do you see this value lived within the SA Foundation?
“In order to have integrity there has to be authentic vulnerability. We share in the women’s journey of recovery as staff, doing our own 12 steps called the Formation of Servants. The step work acts as a leveling ground, where we get to grow our humility and enter the presence of God. It doesn’t matter what our vulnerability is, it is the sense of vulnerability that is the same and true and takes away comparison, clears the path and brings about compassion and unity. This is so important for the ‘connectedness’ of our team and what I truly value about the organization.”
How do you share the value of integrity to the classroom?
“Well firstly I stand on the rock that the word of God never comes back void. Each woman in the class is at a different stage in their recovery journey, but as I personally journey with God and allow him to guide my thoughts and words, He leads me to share my journey with him. This may be a scripture or a word said in the right time, to meet their needs and encourage them to explore and seek. There is no map for this place!! I need to allow God to be my guide and lean not on my own understanding. Integrity is after all a characteristic of God first; He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!
Our women have an instinctual discernment. They can sense when there are discrepancies in character. We all fall short, we will get it wrong, but it’s in the humility of doing our own recovery and inventory that we come to see our faults and vulnerabilities and we get to share these with the women and our community. This allows for us to relate, a mutual sharing of struggling, to say to one another, “me too”, and know you are not alone. This is powerful and freedom to me.”
This is SAF Life! Join our community and know that you are so welcome here to share your life of liberty and your authentic struggles with us. What is freedom to you and how does that show in your life? Email email@example.com to share your stories, your words of hope and your photos of life