B-R-A-V-I-N-G Trust… I is for Integrity

Published on June 16, 2017, 10:42 pm Last Modified on September 12, 2019, 4:02 pm

B is for Boundaries.

R is for Reliable.

A is for Accountable.

V is for Vault.


This is # 5 in a seven part series we’re working through on TRUST. Because Trust is Braving Relationships, we’ve been taking a look at sociologist and thought leader, Dr. Brene Brown’s acronym, B-R-A-V-I-N-G in her teaching on the Anatomy of Trust:


We’ve talked about how Trust is vital for all of our Member Care Priorities: Trauma Awareness, Resilience, Fulfillment, Engagement, and Family relationships.


When working to build trust in relationships, or repair a relationship where trust has been broken, this acronym can serve as a guide, helping us to identify the broken places, so we can pursue intentional and effective healing.


I is for Integrity


What is it?

noun  in·teg·ri·ty  \in-ˈte-grə-tē\

1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility

2:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness

3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided :  completeness


Integrity according to Brene’ Brown: “You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them”.

“Integrity stems from the Latin word ‘integer’ which means whole and complete. So integrity requires an inner sense of ‘wholeness’ and consistency of character. When you are in integrity, people should be able to visibly see it through your actions, words, decisions, methods, and outcomes. When you are ‘whole’ and consistent, there is only one you. You bring that same you wherever you are, regardless of the circumstance. You don’t leave parts of yourself behind. You don’t have a ‘work you,’ a ‘family you,’ and a ‘social you.’ You are YOU all the time”. (Huffington Post, Aug. 01, 2016)


Wow. Integrity a really big idea. I get the picture that a ‘person of integrity’ is, brave, grounded, and lives a life completely in alignment with his or her values. I want to live like that. And I want to have people like that in my life, don’t you?


What does it have to do with trust?


I believe INTEGRITY is the absolute cornerstone of trust. All the other aspects we’ll explore in this series on trust have to do with how I relate to others. Integrity is about how I relate to me. Here is where the soul-searching work of building trust begins. If I am going to be trust-worthy to others, I have to first know that I can trust myself.

Integrity is about knowing who I am and then walking who I am… every.single.day.

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When I know that you won’t betray yourself, I know you won’t betray me… and I can trust you.


“Choosing courage over comfort…choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy” (Brown), means I will do the hard thing when that is what is needed in order to not betray myself. I will be brave, take risks and make sacrifices in order to be true to myself. (Who wouldn’t trust a person who does that?)

“And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them”. In the book Unoffendable, author Brant Hanson writes, “a recent study found that people who join causes online are not more apt to actually do something, they are less likely to take action…we’re positively in love with ‘taking stands’ that cost us absolutely nothing”. So I’ve been asking myself… “if I never spoke about my values, would someone be able to tell what they are by following me around and watching my life?” Because if the answer is, ‘not really’, then how can I ask you to trust me when I talk about values?

What can we do about it?


Integrity is the soul-searching work of building trust. So, how do we do this work?


  • Know My Values: Have I taken the time to struggle through and identify my core values? This takes work, but how can I be true to my values if I’ve not done the work of identifying them? Here’s a values clarification exercise to get started.
  • Identify the obstacles: What gets in the way of my living out my values? How often do I look for the comfortable, easy, fast or fun way forward instead of doing the hard work of “walking my talk”.
  • Get Aligned: What are the areas in my life where I’m not aligned with my values? What changes can I make to bring more integrity through Values Alignment?
  • Do it with Someone: This is a journey we don’t have to travel alone. We can ask a trusted friend to walk with us. Or we can get a coach. One of the most energizing benefits I experienced from my work with a professional coach had to do with Values Clarification and Life Alignment. If you’d like more information about working with a professional coach, contact me.


In Psalm 139, God allows us the privilege of listening as David walks this sacred soul-searching journey to integrity. This is what it sounds like for me in my daily pursuit to integrity:


Search me… again today, Lord,

you know me…

you know my deepest values, my driving purpose, my most challenging obstacles.

You know when I sit down and when I stand up;

But you don’t just see everything I do…. You know what I’m thinking!

You discern my motives and desires as I go about and when I stop going about.

I’m no stranger to you… you know how I’m wired… how I’m designed.

Before I speak a word, you know the thoughts behind it.

yes, Lord, you know them completely.

So can we do this together, Lord?

Search me, God; talk to me about what you see and help me to know my heart;

Let’s look at everything… what are my values and how do they show up?

Where am I in conflict? How might I be dishonoring your name by a lack of integrity?

I look to you… you are my life source and I want my life to reflect all of who you are to me.

-Submitted by: Cindy Schmelzenbach – Member Care Coordinator, Asia Pacific Region

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Cindy Schmelzenbach

Cindy is the Regional Coordinator of Member Care Ministry and her husband Harmon is a fourth-generation missionary of the Church of the Nazarene Asia-Pacific Region.

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