Below is a review of Stephen Carter's 3 Step Definition of Integrity:
When refering to Integrity, Carter has something very specific and simple in mind.
Integrity, for Carter requires 3 steps:
1. Discerning what is right & wrong
2. Acting on what you have discerned (even at a personal cost)
3. Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right & wrong.
Step One is all about moral reflectiveness. In order to be a person of integrity, you should be a person that not only knows what you believe but why you believe it. This will certainly be a struggle and will cause you to wrestle with what society teaches. Even more so for the Christian, as we are called to live according to God's standard instead of the World's.
Step Two is about staying in line with what you have wrestled with. Now that you have come to a place where you truly believe something is right or wrong...you must act on it (in spite of the consequences).
Step Three is the last act because when a person gets to this point, they are one with their decision(s). They are unashamed of their beliefs and share them with others.
Case in Point: Martin Luther King Jr.
He followed the pattern set by Gandhi (who followed the pattern set by Jesus) when he won over the hearts of millions for racial equality. King said, "Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love."
Here we see (1) a well thought out conviction on equality and how to go about reaching it in the United States (2) the guts to act on it [King was jailed because of his stance] (3) and finally, the conviction to say what he believed.