Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
The Quaker testimony of integrity has its foundation in the belief that there is the light of God within each of us. The human heart, at its very core, is God’s dwelling place. The measure of “light” we each possess is who we are at our deepest level, therefore, being true to ourselves means, at the same time, being true to God.
Being true to God is not a matter of adhering to custom, creed or ritual, but rather of choosing to live in such a way as to make the love of God apparent in the actions, words and thoughts of our daily lives. In telling us “we cannot love both God and wealth”, Jesus removes any false sense of comfort we may hope to attain by rationalizing our inconsistencies and explaining away exigencies. Two ways of living for different circumstances imply a distinction between times when God is and is not present. As God is wholly with us, we are to live as whole human beings.
As much as integrity requires constancy in the way we view and think about the world, even more important is the way we are charged to interact with others. There is no such thing as a sense of integrity that acknowledges the measure of light I have within me while at the same time ignoring the corresponding light within my neighbor. As that light is as constant within him or her as it is within me, there is no reasonable way or appropriate time to withhold the integrity my neighbor deserves as much as me. Nor are we to be honest and truthful with some and not with others because of such vain differences as race, gender, age, income, and sexual orientation. God dwells in a wide variety of places.