Tonight, my house is quiet. The kids are keeping themselves busy and Phillip is enjoying watching a movie. I love nights like tonight when I have time to sit and ponder things that have really been on my heart lately.
I’ve learned to take advantage of when the quiet comes. I can better hear God’s voice and am more open to His perspective rather than my own. I think we should all jump at quiet moments like these to search our hearts, and rethink our point of view if necessary.
If we don’t take the time to get quiet, we run the risk of missing some of the most valuable echos of truth that will resonate deeply in our souls.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity and credibility. For me, both are really, really important. Let’s be real for a moment. I mean, down and dirty real. When I’ve failed in these areas, the damage I’ve caused those I’ve love, was almost unspeakable.
One of the most life transforming experiences in my life was coming face to face with my failures and owning them without excuse or justification. The shame. Oh the shame I tell you. Even writing about it right now, my hands tremble. Yes, when you are exposed and ashamed due to nothing but your own bad choices, a grief fills your soul like nothing else you will ever experience. When, in the same moment you experience forgiveness and grace, your heart is forever transformed.
So, when I write about integrity and credibility now, it is not from a position of haughtiness or arrogance. In fact, it is from a sober place of understanding that in my frailness I easily could stumble back into faulty thinking, self-justification and self-soothing behavior that says my sin is not that bad — Scary right?
So, when I come to a place in my life that I am looking at integrity and credibility again I know I must first look at myself.
- Is there anything that I would try to cover in shame if my life was going to play on a big screen for everyone to see?
- Am I being careful with my words?
- Am I honoring myself, my family and my faith in all that I do?
- What do I need to change? Have I become lazy or complacent?
- Am I letting God’s word lead me and guide me or am I getting caught up in battles and emotions that aren’t mine?
Asking the above questions are so important…so very important. Why? Because as Jeremiah 17:9 says,
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
In other words, we can all fool ourselves into believing we’re not doing harm. We can convince ourselves that we are actually doing better than we really are. We can shut out the wise counsel of others, close our eyes to the truth so we can somewhat blindly continue down the path we are already on at all costs. Think I’m wrong? Think about an alcoholic who thinks they can have just one drink….right????
Integrity for me is of course about being truthful. But it also so much more than that. Integrity beckons me to go the extra step when I see a friend stumbling to reach out to try to save them. Friends have done this for me — out of love and out of integrity for our friendship. Sometimes I heeded their calls and it saved me. Other times, I responded with arrogance and anger and I had to live a few more heartaches before I was ready for rescue. Sigh. Yes, integrity begins with truth but runs far deeper and wider when we pair it with friendships, loyalty and helping a brother or sister who is stumbling in our midst.
Can you imagine a world where we all sought to have integrity with ourselves, our relationships and our friends? I think it would be a powerful world filled with truth and love. That’s the type of world I want to start building!
For me, credibility is not about how long you’ve performed a job. We all know people who have been in the same position for years while they have back stabbed and wounded those around them. It isn’t about reputation either. In this crazy world, you’re a hero one day, and a zero the next. Credibility has more to do with having a steadfast character as you walk through life. Seasons may change, roles may change but people should be able to look at someone who is credible and know their character is steady, reliable and trustworthy no matter what. Volatility and harshness do not go hand in hand with credibility – they are in fact directly opposed to it.
Now we’re cooking with fuel!
Can you imagine a world full of steadfast men and women who are not perfect but who are working to grow their character more and more like Jesus? That would be a patient and kind, long-suffering, world where love would overcome. Again friends! Let’s start building!
We are living in a world where evil and anger fill the news. We live in a world where people are tossed away like garbage and treated as though they hold no value. We must turn the tide and that direction change starts with us. It starts with us examining our own hearts and character. It starts with confessing our sins and getting our hearts aligned with God’s will. From there, filled with His tender loving-kindness, I know the Lord will guide our way!
I’m in, how about you?