Tag Archives: integrity

Yes be Yes

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)

There are many jokes about all the words women say in the course of a day. We can chatter on about nothing with a close friend, speak in shorthand with our daughters, or slip in that tidbit of good gossip over lunch.

Yet, words last forever…they just hang out there for all to hear and remember. In fact, once that story pops out of your mouth there is no taking it back. But more importantly, we want our word to be believed and not discredited or questioned.

When we make promises or swear an oath, our reputation and integrity are on the line. It reminds me of times in the past when I used to chair meetings. When I called for the vote, an exact tally of ayes and nays gave credibility to my leadership. If there was a miscount or worse, fraud, the whole organization became suspect.

Recently, I promised a neighbor that I would pray for her house to sell. It sold the next day and she tells friends that it was because I prayed. I better be sure that prayer follows that promise and they are not throw-away words.

I know that a broken promise wounds like no other because it compromises a trust and takes a long time to regain the previous level of intimacy.

In this passage of scripture, there had been some communication problems in the Corinthian church. Paul wants them to understand that they can count on him because his words are true…that when he says, “yes,” that is what he means. Even more so with our Heavenly Father.

Pay attention to your words and promises. Let your “Yes” be Yes and Amen.

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No Integrity

The Lord looks down from heaven

    on the entire human race;

he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,

    if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away;

    all have become corrupt.

No one does good,

    not a single one!

Psalm 14:2-3 (NLT)

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With the story of Easter still fresh on my heart, I read a devotion that stopped me in my tracks when it said, “No one has integrity.” Of course, I know that we are all sinners and only the grace and forgiveness from God makes His righteousness become our righteousness.

But I’ve always prided myself on my integrity. The definition in urbandictionary.com is “Doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking.” Another is, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” I have been known to speak up and not back down in the face of opposition. But you know my problem — and it may be yours — pride. I can do it. Yet, as I look back over my life, I failed…again and again.

We would all like to be wise and follow God’s instructions every moment of the day. But both David and Paul remind us in Scripture that not one of us has succeeded and is without sin. We might try and do a PR job and present a face to the world about our integrity but if the nitty gritty was known, it is false. Dishonesty supersedes our great intentions and we are lost.

But God knows that we can’t do it alone, and further, He doesn’t expect it. We failed that test a long time ago in the Garden. Satan, the serpent, won that day and our destiny was death. But, then the empty tomb dashed the deceiver’s hopes and gave believers in Jesus Christ hope forever. He conquered death.

The political silly season is upon us and I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for a man of integrity to lead us. But more importantly, a man of God.

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The Deal

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

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With my latest vision problems, we decided to upgrade my computer to the new 27″ iMac. After a week of making sure all data had been transferred from the old to the new, we took the old one down, cleaned it all up, and listed it on craigslist. We’ve not been very successful at selling things like this but decided to give it a try. I wrote, what I thought was a compelling ad, posted it on a Friday night, and  waited.

Nothing…for two days.

Monday morning, the texts and emails began and the race was on. Some were easy to answer because it was simply a question. But finally, a real offer. Back and forth via text. And then another guy entered the fray. Same deal. Waiting…waiting. Ding ding.

I had a feeling about the first offer. I thought it might be a kid and the second from someone older. I wanted to sell it to the second guy but my integrity was at stake and so I chose the first one as his offer came in literally seconds before the other. SOLD. I texted the second guy that he just missed it and he couldn’t believe it.

Several texts throughout the day indicated that my new computer owner was having difficulty making time to pick it up. But, I was unwilling to schedule it to another day. By 9 PM, he still had not arrived and I received a text that he had stopped by Best Buy and bought a new one.

ARGHHHHH. I texted the other offer that the deal had fallen through. I went to bed mumbling and complaining about irresponsibility and choices. But as I lay there, God reminded me that it was not worth worrying about. The money from the sale of the computer was not going to break me and He had given me more important things to do. OK, God.

The next morning, I was up early reading the daily devotion about trust in Jesus Lives. The very last verse on the page was the one at the top of the blog. I laughed out loud, right there in the quiet of my den. And we wonder if God speaks directly to us? The answer is YES!

Ding…ding. A text so early in the morning? It was from the second guy who said he would take it and he wouldn’t back out of the deal. And he did. That day. No questions asked.

I thought I was in control of this little sale. In living color and black and white, God showed me that He was handling it. My part was to be upright and honest in my dealings and not worry about the outcome.

I love it when we see the hand of God working out in our lives. Thank you, Lord.

Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving precedes the miracle.

 

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Resolve

I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. 

1 Chronicles 29:17 (NLT)

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Endurance. Perseverance. Integrity.

These words really test our mettle—what we are made of. Hard words. Often abandoned or ignored words. I know because I have been there, done that.

A little over six years ago, I participated in my first Beth Moore study on Daniel. As the lion roared at the end of each lesson, I often found myself in tears and finished that study with the lingering feeling that it was so good but not many of the details. Now, I’m doing it again with our local ladies.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read my earlier workbook but my curiosity got the better of me and I pulled it out. I don’t look at it until I’m completed the week’s lesson but it’s interesting for me to note a few things:

  •  I, obviously, didn’t get the routine because the first few lessons, all the blanks were still blank. I finally figured out how to catch that missing word from a woman with a southern accent that speaks a mile a minute.
  •  Some answers have the very same words both times.
  •  Some answers reflect the happenings of period of time.
  •  Some answers show that God has been working and is changing me in ways to complete His purpose for me.

The book of Daniel challenges us to live with integrity in a world filled with the Babylonian motto, “I am, and there is none besides me.” Sound familiar? Everywhere we look or read or watch today, it’s all about me. What can I get out of it? Who is going to give it to me? How do I look? What can I buy? Me. Me. Me.

But that’s not what God is looking for when He talks about integrity. As Beth describes it, “The lifeblood of integrity is becoming the same person no matter where we are—no matter who’s around.” My version, “What you see, is what you get.”

Integrity requires consistency so that I can live each day with a clean conscience in a world of temptation, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit for direction. I don’t have to rack my brain for whatever cover story I might have used the last time because the truth is easier to remember than a lie.

One last word to add to the list — resolve.

I challenge you to look at your life and assess where you are on the integrity scale. If it needs work, get to it. If it looks pretty good today, beware. Satan’s goal is to trip us up.

Remember that integrity doesn’t just happen. We must purpose or resolve to live a life of godliness and integrity. Dare to be different.

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Flag Waving

May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.

Psalm 25:21 (NLT)

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 I’m a political junkie and have been for over 30 years. The next couple of months will be filled with TV ads, endless phone calls soliciting money, votes, and time, debates, all culminating with a vote by the people in November and a candidate elected.

But for the next two weeks, wall to wall stories on TV and radio will fill the air as each political party attempts to showcase their candidate through their National Convention. I attended one of these as a delegate back in 2000 and it was so much fun. Mel and Kate (who was 9 months old at the time) even joined me for a few days. Some will resent the time taken from their favorite programs, while I have the whole week blocked out to watch C-Span.

However, I learned a very important lesson from my years in politics. No politician will ever be able to solve the heart problems of this nation or even those of a single person. That, alone, belongs to God Almighty. Our hope is that the person chosen to lead us will be a person of integrity and honesty, one who realizes he can’t fix anything without Your help.

As believers, I encourage you to watch, listen, evaluate, and then pray. Our responsibility is to vote for the candidate that best reflects our values. But remember—God is in control.

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Justice

Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Romans 12:19-21 (The Message)

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We had a delightful time with three grandgirlies and one daughter last week. I played tour director this trip and the girls enjoyed each day’s activity. The weather was HOT so we headed to the water. Swimming at one of our pools or going to the local water park cooled everyone off—along with delicious gelato. We went to the movies one day and to the Flandrau Science Museum another. Shopping is always part of our time together, we’re girls after all. Mark took each girl for a golf cart ride in the early evening and Tori came back rattling off the numbers of the quail, jack-bunnies, deer, field mice, coyote, and road runners they had seen.

We love to have them visit and as they drove off we walked back into a very quiet house. Even Parker drooped. Grandparenting is one of my favorite roles. As a grandmother, I can’t help but think of Cindy Anthony today. Her loss and grief must be overwhelming.

I think you would be hard pressed to know nothing about the Casey Anthony trial unless you lived under a rock. The facts of the case are sketchy but a little girl is gone. I think the mother is a flake but no one really knows her involvement in the death of her child. “Justice” is bandied about by observers and pundits. But what is justice?

The Center for Economic and Social Justice defines it this way:

Functionally, “justice” is a set of universal principles which guide people in judging what is right and what is wrong, no matter what culture and society they live in. Justice is one of the four “cardinal virtues” of classical moral philosophy, along with courage, temperance (self-control) and prudence (efficiency). (Faith, hope and charity are considered to be the three “religious” virtues.) Virtues or “good habits” help individuals to develop fully their human potentials, thus enabling them to serve their own self-interests as well as work in harmony with others for their common good.

Was justice served in this case? We celebrated the 4th of July this week reminding us of the great sacrifice made on behalf of freedom for our republic. Unless we follow the rule of law, that was bravely fought for, we will have anarchy. These jurors made a decision based on the information they were given. Whether we agree or disagree on the verdict, ultimately, Casey Anthony will stand before her Maker for her final judgment.

Someone wrote a post on Facebook that challenged me. What if Casey Anthony moved into my neighborhood? Attended my church? Shopped in my grocery store? Would I respond to her in judgement or in love? Sobering questions. God is the one who metes out justice. My responsibility is to do good. Any thoughts?

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