Integrity - noun
adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:
Integrity. A word that is said a lot these days, but rarely is it a substantial attribute. Every day it seems that some politician, pastor, or police officer is accused of something that makes you severely doubt their integrity. The problem stems from the lack of completely integrated integrity. We can’t be faithful to our spouse, but cheat on our taxes and profess our forthright nature. We can’t preach fire and brimstone from the pulpit, and refuse to pay our bills in a timely manner and boast of our incorruptible nature. We have to have pursue truthfulness in every aspect of our lives.
For me, this means watching my words more diligently. On the days when I have been too busy take my alone time with God and my spirit is stopped up, I have noticed that my words run freely. A constipated spirit leads to diarrhea of the mouth! And the stuff that spews from my lips really stinks.
Yesterday, after a day of shopping, I met a friend for coffee. I’m not sure if it was the stimulation of overspending (lack of integrity) or the unnecessary addition of extra caffeine, but my mouth outran my brain.
I could see that my friend had something to share, but I couldn’t clam my lips together long enough to hear her. We laughed and talked, sorta. I dominated the conversation in a way that completely lacked the integrity I foolishly think I possess. I gossiped and I reveled in the attention that spilling secrets got me. And once I got started, I just couldn’t seem to stop.
When I got home I was consumed with a regret that was tangible. I felt sick. How could I have betrayed a confidence and not submitted to listening to a friend who needed an ear not a mouth jawing about idiocy? The whys were a chagrined filled mess in my heart. I had fallen way short of God’s Will.
The good news is: today is a new day. I screwed up yesterday. All I can do is pray and apologize to my friends.
Just to drive the point home, my devotional today was all about integrity. Allowing myself to slip up in one area, shopping, led me to ignore the Holy Spirit’s pulls on my heart strings when the talking started. I can’t ignore him in one area and then expect to hear him in another. I must submit to his in all things if I expect him to lead me in the little things. I need to let my yes be yes, and my no be no, and I don’t need to add any extra to the conversation! I profess to want transparency and honesty, but until I am honest with myself about my own short comings, I can’t possess either.
Days like yesterday help me realize just how far I have to go, days like today when I submit myself to the authority of the Holy Spirit make realize just how far I have come. Someday, I will be complete, my righteousness will be real, and my integrity will be fully integrated. Until that day, I will admit when I fall short, ask forgiveness, and pray for guidance. I will also pray diligently for the people that I am lucky enough to call friends so my stupidity will not hurt or harm them.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.