Every part of me wants to apologize ahead of time for what I’m about to write…but I can’t. It’s just that I’m not used to speaking what’s on my heart…especially when it may ruffle feathers. I just found myself convicted thinking about all this…so, here goes…
This line in our challenge prayer states, “I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity.” This really got me thinking. Is this an ideal important to anyone anymore? I know it sounds judgmental, but it’s not supposed to. It’s more of an internal soul searching that I find myself doing. I found myself asking the question – what do these words actually mean? For “honesty” one quick definition I saw is: the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness, truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness, freedom from deceit or fraud. And, for “integrity” I found this: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty – the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished, a sound, unimpaired or perfect condition.
So, if I just ponder those definitions, I wonder just how much of my lifestyle really reflects these features. It’s convicting because I see this as a challenge in and of itself. I mean, let’s talk about honesty. Think about honesty in all things. You probably think like I do – I’m an honest person. Sure, in some things. However to be honest in all things is more of a difficult concept. I mean, those of us with kids certainly understand the “necessity” to not be completely honest at times with our children. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. How many times have you told your children – “just a minute, sweetie – we’ll do <that – whatever the “that” is that their wanting> that after I’m done…or sure, we can get some ice cream just after…” You pick the scenario, but I’d imagine we’ve all done it to some degree.
That kind of leads right into integrity. Does your moral character speak for itself? Do you hold yourself to a standard of excellence? Does your lifestyle indicate your character? I know, for me – I have to really look at this. If we are striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus – to be more like Him, these qualities are imperative. Jesus didn’t stretch the truth, and his moral character was without reproach. Shouldn’t we strive for that? I’m not saying I’m perfect – not by any means. But, if we strive to be more like Him – to be a living witness of who He is – then just remember, we might very well be the only “Jesus” some people see.