This is another one that comes courtesy of my son’s vocabulary book. 😉
Let’s look for a moment at the Latin word integer, which means “whole, complete.” We see this root in quite a lot of English words.
First, the word integer itself, which means “a whole number.” 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.–no decimals, no fractions. (Margot from The Number of Love would be delighted to see me featuring this word, LOL.)
But we also have words like integrate–which has been in English since the 1630s with the meaning of “to make something whole, to bring together the parts of something.” Now, it’s worth noting that this is specific to pieces that are already meant to be combined. The meaning of “bringing together elements or parts to make something into a whole” is from 1802. This second meaning is the one where you take pieces that were not at first part of the same thing to make something new.
And then we also have integrity. Though it’s been around since 1400 with the sense of “purity, blamelessness,” it too comes from that idea of wholeness. Paul commands us in the epistles to “be complete.” This is the same idea. We are to be whole, complete, without hole or defect…which hence means we are pure, without spot, blameless. I really like that idea! That by having integrity, we are the complete picture of ourselves.