Integrity, is not simply keeping one’s word–it is honoring one’s word. What’s the difference? When a person knows he won’t be able to keep his word, he honors his word by making that situation known to all the people who will be affected. He deals with the consequences of not keeping his word, cleans up whatever messes have been created, and makes new promises that restore workability to the situation at hand.
We earlier defined integrity as “whole and complete”. How does this definition relate to honoring ones word? Because how situations occur to people arises from language, it follows that a person occurs for herself and for others inside of the word she gives. When her relationship to her word is inauthentic, divided and incomplete, then her relationship with herself is inauthentic, divided and incomplete. If she wants to restore her sense of herself to one of being whole and complete, her pathway is through honoring her word.