Integrity

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”

Do you remember that commercial advertising a pain reliever way back when?  It always made me giggle and wonder how silly the actor felt when he was standing in front of the camera acting like he had any wisdom about which medication the rest of the world should use!  Of course, he probably didn’t care as he was cashing his big, fat paycheck! HA!

Obviously, some marketing guru thought the public would buy into the actor’s recommendation because he ‘played’ a doctor on some popular television show.  The real shocker is that it worked.

The fact is that we all have the opportunity to show the world what we want them to see…the question is whether it’s the truth or not?  Hmmm.

This is where integrity makes an appearance and demands an answer.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. Proverbs 11:3

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1

The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! Proverbs 20:7

Mary Southerland wrote in a recent devotional, “As followers of Christ, we sometimes focus on developing and presenting the right image while neglecting the spiritual discipline of integrity. Our public lives are only as authentic as our private lives. Image is who and what people think we are while integrity is who and what we really are.”

Do you know who you REALLY are?

God requires us to choose (see John 5:39-40).  And God knows if we are lying (Jeremiah 17:10).

Uh…  I think I could really use a few do-overs as I look into my past.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve acted or said one thing in public and done another in private.  All too often, my character has enough dark blemishes that sometimes I wonder if I can even call it ‘character’ with all the holes in it.  Or maybe I could say about myself that “she’s just a character.” And we ALL know what that means!

Basically, I don’t want to be a fake.  As time has passed, I’ve found myself showing my flaws – not in search of compliments or pity – but to become genuine in the presence of our omnipotent God.

I am the quintessential people-pleaser, so it’s no revelation that I want to please God.  However, being a people-pleaser brings with it a fraudulent flavor.  Do my actions and speech reflect the depth of my heart?  The answer is…sometimes.

Honestly, I think if I ever give up working on my integrity it will be because I’ve completely lost it.  And the only way I will ever reach an appropriate level of integrity is to pursue Jesus Christ.

Through God’s Word and the teachings of Jesus Christ, I can learn how to live as He wants me to and in effect will have a soft enough heart to be changed through His power.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

So – the bad news is that I have some work to do.  The good news is that through the blood of Jesus Christ, I am saved (see Hebrews 7:25)

What do you show the world?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 28:6 – Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

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