Doing the Right Thing

Today, as I was reading a news story, a quote stood out to me:”The truth falls on deaf ears when you lack integrity.” 

I understood the context within the news report. If you are a person who lacks integrity, people will not want to listen to you even when you are telling the truth. 

Apart from the situation surrounding the report I was reading, this statement just speaks to me. 

How do people view me personally?

Would they say that I am a person of integrity? 

Do they know me as someone who tells the truth?

Someone who treats others with respect?

Someone who is kind to others, even in difficult situations?

Most importantly, would they think that I am someone who is hoping to please God?

If I am viewed as being a person of integrity, might others then listen if I tell them the truth about Jesus and His gift of salvation?

If I am viewed as being hypocritical and wavering in my day to day life, will anyone really take me seriously when it comes to matters of faith?
2 Corinthians 8:21 reads:

We care about doing the right thing, not only in the Lord’s eyes but also in the eyes of other people.

Blessed

Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.

–Psalm 106:3

 

Do you have a favorite place to sit when you go to a ball game?

Is there a certain pew that you seek out when attending church?

As a child, if you walked to school, did you have a particular route that was your favorite?

I have heard it said that we are “creatures of habit.”

Maybe so.

In doing some research about how long it takes to form a true habit, it seems that it may take several several months, depending on the activity desired.

To be fair, it’s probably easier for most people to create a habit of stretching for five minutes when they wake up in the morning than to create a habit of jogging for 30 minutes.

Both are attainable habits to form, given the inspiration and the will to follow through with the commitment.

Good habits aren’t all about exercise, however.

Character traits can also become habitual.

Psalm 106:3 speaks of someone who acts justly and always does what is right.

As situations arise, each of us has the ability to choose our course of action and response.

Will it be one of integrity?

Will it be pleasing in God’s eyes?

In making a conscious choice over and over again that falls within the realm of honor and virtue, we create a character pathway that becomes somewhat of a “favorite” to us.

If we act in a determined way for a long period of time, we are likely to continue to do so, unless we come to a great motive to change.

If it seems that we are consistently choosing to act justly, doing what is right, the psalmist has a word to describe us—

blessed.

 

act justly

Reflect the Integrity

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 
—Tirus 2:7

I wear a hematite bracelet on my left arm. 

I do not wear it because it is pretty. 

I do not wear it because of the uniformity of its pieces. 

I do not wear it because of its shape or color. 

Why, then, do I place it on my left wrist?

I have a bone spur in my hand, which causes pain. 

There are those who suggest that wearing magnetic bands or jewelry near a painful area of the body will help with pain relief. 

Wearing magnetic bracelets do seem to help me, so I continue to wear them. 

I keep them close because of their magnetic properties. 

As followers of Jesus, we need to show those around us what our “properties” are.  

People will be drawn to us on a very real level not because we are pretty.  

Not because of our clothing. 

Not because of our outward appearance at all. 

They will be drawn to who we are and the Christ-like character we reveal in our day to day lives. 

By doing so, we will be encouraging and healing, loving and giving. 

Others will come to know that we are serious about our faith as they see our caring actions. 

Established With Integrity

Take away the impurities from the silver,
    and a good smith can create something of value;
 Take away the wicked from among the king’s advisors,
    and his reign will be established with integrity.

–Proverbs 25:4-5

While reading this passage in The Voice translation the other night, I began to ponder what the words might mean if I put others in the place of the king.

Others, meaning you or me.

If I were to “take away the wicked from among [my] advisors”, what would be the result?

Kings had formal advisors to converse with about important things.

Not considering my friends to be formal advisors, they are, however, a very real influence.

Now, what about that word, wicked?

I can honestly say I don’t have any wicked friends.

Being curious about it, I looked up some words that mean the same thing:

Wayward.

Degenerate.

Mischievous.

Immoral.

Unethical.

No. My friends don’t fall into this category.

So, what is the result?

My reign will be established in integrity.

Not being a king (or queen),  I don’t have a reign.

I do, nonetheless, have influence.

Influence on my family.

Influence on the people I work with.

Influence on the people I see at church.

Influence on the very friends that I am influenced by.

Applying this scripture to myself, I can come to the conclusion that if I choose only wise and God honoring people to be my advisors/friends, then my own influence will be one of integrity.

And how important is that to me?

Extremely important.

How important is that to you?

integrity

In His Integrity

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There are times when I see a bird alone and I feel sorry for it….

They are probably doing just fine, but it’s almost as if I feel that they are lonely.

No other birds to fly with.

No other birds to play in the water with.

Searching for food, just looking around—–alone.

At the end of my driveway, a bird stood all by himself in the water that had collected from the rain.

When I think about people instead of birds, I realize that there are times when it is good to be alone.

It is certainly good to be alone for a time of prayer and Bible study.

Being alone to just reflect on life and important decisions that need to be made is of great importance.

There are other times that being alone is good, as well.

Times when we don’t fit in, and we are alone.

Not part of the crowd.

Times when we hold to the truth that God has given us, even when it is not accepted.

We may find ourselves alone, then, too.

Proverbs 19:1 reads,

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

If we are alone because we are following God, seeking integrity in His eyes, that is cause enough to choose that solitude.
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Click image to enlarge.

poor person