Integrity in Action: Reflections on Proverbs 10:9

by | Sep 21, 2023

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9  

Behind the Book

The initial compilation of Proverbs is traditionally thought to have taken place in Jerusalem around 935 B.C. Most of this book was written by King Solomon, but it is safe to think of the book of Proverbs as a library of the wisdom of the Israelites. In it, Solomon condenses the vast reservoir of knowledge and wisdom found within his mind into factual nuggets for his readers. Although he is said to have composed 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), only 800 bearing his name appear in the book of Proverbs.  

Faith & Work Application

When I think of the word integrity, I think of honesty and authenticity. Of course, we should be asking ourselves, “Am I being honest and truthful to those I work with?” But when was the last time you wondered if you were being truthful and honest with yourself?  

If an organization has a true culture of integrity, that means employees take their commitments seriously, are proactive when they don’t understand their responsibilities, and ultimately, are accountable for their results. As a result, the business thrives. 

Taking commitments seriously.  

Here at Workmatters, we show integrity by “doing what you say you’re going to do.” This might look like following through on the tasks and projects at hand, working proactively to hit deadlines, or being punctual for meetings or other obligations. Working in this mindset is not only applicable to our work, but also our home lives. 

The other day, I was listening to a podcast episode from TED Ideas called “How to Be a Better Human.” In this episode with Ryan Holiday, author, public-relations strategist, and former director of marketing and advisor for American Apparel, he said, “Whenever you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else.” A simple, seemingly obvious truth, but it made me realize how powerful my “yes” was and how I needed to be intentional with who and what I said “yes” to because of the people and things I was saying “no” to in turn. 

Seek help and understanding. 

If we’re going to take our commitments seriously, we need to have a clear understanding of the task at hand, and if it’s beyond our scope of abilities or time, we need to seek help. Having integrity and seeking help takes courage, lots of it, and for some of us in leadership roles, admitting we need help is hard. 

It took a long time for me to see the importance of reaching out, because I feared that if I asked for help or clarification, I would seem unqualified for the task at hand. In turn, I’ve learned that seeking understanding and asking for help is a sign that I’m true to myself and honest with my team about where I’m at – maintaining that level of vulnerability and authenticity is crucial in leading with integrity.  

Holding ourselves accountable.  

It’s easy to take ownership when you do something well. However, integrity really comes into play when you face failure. If you want to live with integrity and grow personally, you must learn to admit when you make a mistake and then most importantly, choose to learn from it. 


  • What commitments do you currently have on your calendar? 
    • Be clear about what you’re already saying yes to, evaluate what more you can or cannot attend to – be honest with yourself! 
  • Where do you need to seek understanding or help this week? 
    • If you lead a team, how can you ensure that you’re setting the example and creating a space where your team members can do the same? 
  • Accountability goes beyond our week to-do list as well. Think about your company’s values, do your actions hold true to those values?
    • Does your team hold each other accountable when someone is working or acting out of line with those values?

Focused Prayer

God, help me work with integrity today. Give me the courage to say “no” to people and things that will take my focus and attention from the people and things I have already said “yes” to. I ask for patience from those I am seeking understanding from; guide our conversations and fill our hearts with kindness and grace. Guide my steps toward honesty and authenticity and guard my heart from speaking half-truths and blame. Amen. 

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Jessica Simms

Jessica joined the Workmatters team in July of 2021. She was born and raised in New Jersey and lived in Louisiana and Texas before finding her home in Arkansas in 2019. Jessica is an avid Razorback fan and has twin daughters, Austin and Kendall. She is also a member of Cross Church-Fayetteville and is a WMI-Arkansas alumna.