Integrity and Personal Conduct*
Integrity has always been a goal of Friends. It is essential to trust, to all communication between people and between people and God. Integrity grounds our beliefs, thoughts, and actions in our spiritual center and makes us whole.
Friends believe that we are called to speak the truth. A single standard of truth requires us to conduct ourselves in ways that are honest, direct, and plain, and to make our choices, both large and small, in accord with the urgings of the Spirit. It follows that we object to taking an oath, which presupposes a variable standard of truth. Be true to your word.
. . . let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay.James 5:12 (King James Version)
From early days Friends have opposed gambling and practices based on chance. These activities profit from the inevitable loss of others, promote greed, and conflict with good stewardship. Public lotteries have not furthered their purported benefit to the public good. All addictions are of concern. As the use of alcohol and tobacco all too often entail serious risks to self and others, Friends who serve alcohol at home should be diligent in offering alternatives. Alcohol should not be served at Meeting gatherings.
Find recreation that brings you joy and energy. Be aware of how your choices affect yourself and others.
- How do I strive to maintain the integrity of my inner and outer lives?
- Do I act on my principles even when this entails difficult consequences?
- Am I honest and truthful in all that I say and do, even when a compromise might be easier or more popular?
- Am I reflective about the ways I gain my wealth and income and sensitive to their impacts on others?
- Is my life so filled with the Spirit that I am free from the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, and of excesses of any kind?
- Do we, in our Meeting, hold ourselves accountable to one another, as do members of a healthy family?
*from Faith & Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting (2001), 55-56