Monday, March 5, 2012

Can I be a Woman of Integrity?

So many times I have heard the saying, "Be a man of integrity," and I say it to my boys all the time. I talk about what it means and how they can apply it to their everyday lives, but I have never heard the phrase, "Be a woman of integrity." I had never even used it with my own girls until recently.  It's been on my mind for a while now and so I began talking to my girls about what it means to be a "Woman of integrity."

It's funny how when the Lord begins working in my heart over something and then sure enough I find someone else in my family going through the very same lesson. My daughter is learning, in her Mpact Girls Club, what integrity means. The definition that she is learning on integrity is "A girl with integrity is a girl:
  • who can be trusted
  • always tells the truth
  • will always keep her promises  
  • A girl who does what she says she will do
  • will do her best even if no one is looking
  • a girl who makes a great friend
And that is essentially what I've been trying to teach my children, but you know you can't teach what you yourself are not doing. I've just been so convicted by this.

I gotta be honest here, growing up, well, I just wasn't a girl of integrity. I really thought there was a difference between a little white lie and I don't know, a little black lie?  I don't really even know what that means anymore, but I do know I said, "white lies" and used it as an excuse. I also remember lying whenever it was convenient. Like, if I knew my sister, or anyone in this case, would get angry with me I would say whatever I thought they wanted to hear just to keep from being yelled at. I lied to save my hide. (I just made that one up).  And once you get into lying and think of lying as no big deal well then exaggerating becomes easier. I would exaggerate and make up stories for attention like you wouldn't believe.  I'd feel alittle twang of wrongness about it or a feeling like, "Oh, no, what if so-in-so finds out that I didn't tell the whole truth?" But for the most part I was fine with lying and exaggerating and thought everyone lied and I was still a 'good person.'

Other areas of my life where I had been convicted are for example the times that I thought that, "well, I'm not being paid enough so it's okay if I take this box of paper clips home-it's my compensation for hard work." NO, it's not, it's stealing. I look back and see that my attitude was not one of serving. I felt overlooked, unappreciated, and I wanted to get what I deserved-albeit a paper clip. I felt justified. I felt vindicated. No one knew, but God did. He saw me steal the pen, paper, whatever. He saw my heart. He saw that I wanted justice. Wanted revenge. And He saw it was alllll wrong.

Then slowly the Lord started awakening in me- truth. And as time marches on I heard Joyce Meyers talk about being faithful in the little things and got even more convicted.

I am no longer a liar and I have stopped exaggerating-no small task! But there are other areas that need pruning. For instance, I'll get all excited about watching a movie, but if there is a dvd already in the player I find myself taking the dvd out of the player and leaving it out on top of the dvd player. I don't find the cover and put it away like I should. Or if I'm tired I don't put the cover back on the toothpaste-(and as we all know that makes it icky for the next person, my husband), I just leave it there. I have many of these little things that are, in my new convicted opinion, wrong.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:23)

The Bible talks about being faithful in the little things- these are little things are they not? It is an attitude, a bad one, that has to change. An attitude of laziness. An attitude of  'I don't care how this effects anyone else.' Pretty bad. So, I recently started putting the toothpaste cover on, taking the two seconds to put the dvd in it's cover. And do these little acts of service really matter to God? I think, yes. And only yes because it's more about my attitude of NOT serving others than leaving a mess. My bad attitude hurts God. Not caring about what I'm leaving behind for another person. And simply, just not doing what is right- integrity.

It's interesting to me that another one of the lessons my daughter learned in her Mpact Girls class on integrity was that God blesses us when we are people of integrity. But my question is how can God really bless me when I'm not true to my word? When my attitude stinks? How can He trust or bless me with 'more' when I can't be trusted with so little? Isn't it sad? How can I expect my children to be people of integrity when there own mother isn't? How can I expect them to put dvd's away or put the toothpaste cover on when I don't even do it? I need to be the role model of integrity if they are to be people of integrity.

Change is never easy, but it always yields a good thing.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: "  who gave His life for us. (Philippians 2:3-5)

Jesus was a man of integrity.
I want to be a woman of integrity.
I want to be like Jesus.

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