Lies, Lies, & More Lies

Me? Lie? Noooo. I don’t lie. Liars go to…well, anyways, let’s just leave it at that. I’m no liar.

Ok, ok…that’s a lie. Truth is: lies come in all shapes and sizes. I like to believe my lies are tiny round specks, but God sees them as large square planks. We lie for all sorts of reasons: shame, pride, anger, fear, worldly pressures…but none of these reasons excuse it. God hates lying. And He loves honesty and integrity.

I recently read an incredible book called Integrity by Henry Cloud and began praying that God would make me a woman of integrity. God’s response to my prayer? Well, He didn’t exactly deposit integrity into my character, though that would have been the preferred method. Instead, He’s given me opportunities to develop integrity. Of course, His Spirit is an ever-present resource in these opportunistic moments…if I choose to call upon His help.

Two of the opportunities came while I was at work. The day after Thanksgiving would be a low-staffed day, so I was asked to work longer than my 3-hour shift. “Well, I have homework to do, finals are coming up…” I muddled through the excuses. I don’t know why I felt that just being honest wasn’t enough. My sister would be in town and I didn’t want to work more hours. So I gave an excuse. An excuse that got me three more hours of work that day. They asked me to do the homework in the office so I could answer the phones. Did I learn my lesson? I hope so…

The second opportunity: It had been a rough morning. I was frantically trying to complete a project due that day, and in the rush, I forgot to route the project details through the director. Oh, and by the way, we route everything through the director. There is absolutely no exception. Why would I forget? Oh, I could blame it on all sorts of things: the rushed deadline, the other people whom I routed it through should have routed it to him, or I could claim innocence. In the end, they are all excuses intended to take the blame off me. In the end, it was simply my fault. After attempting to point blame, I walked into the director’s office and apologized for my big mistake. Lesson learned? I really hope so…

Integrity: living by a high standard of moral and honest character. Integrity is about completeness; it’s about the whole of a person and having an upright heart. It makes us a bit vulnerable as it shines light on our imperfections, but it also shines light on the grace and character of Jesus. I share these experiences in humility, but also in the grace of God. Ooh, they’re not my lowest moments, but they’re recent ones…

God sees beyond the excuses and into the heart. That’s a scary thought, but yet it’s also freeing. Because we can ask Him for help. Help for the days we’re ashamed of the truth. Help for the days we have to lay down our pride. Help for the days when the truth causes us to lose something important. He’s a gracious God who wants to help us live a holy life.

“Whoever would love life & see good days must keep his tongue from evil & his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil & do good; he must seek peace & pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous & his ears are attentive to their prayer” 1 Peter 3:10-12

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