30 11 2013

When did lying become so acceptable in our culture? When did telling the truth become so optional? Why do so many people use words that they have no real intention of ever following through on? Do you go about saying whatever it takes to make yourself look better than you honestly are? Can somebody tell me whatever happened to integrity? Has conscience gone the way of the dinosaur?

One of the reasons that I hate politics is because the truth is so hard to find. Who can you believe? Who do you trust? When promises are broken on a regular basis with very little sorrow or remorse shown by the breaker of the covenant – it is easy to develop a cynical edge to all the speeches made that amount to nothing more than hot air released into our environment.

Preachers need to proclaim the Scriptures, whether the statements are popular or not. Parents need to have the courage to correct their children with a consistent discipline rooted in love. Government officials need to back up their talk with a faithful walk that is willing to take responsibility when things don’t turn out like they were originally communicated. Now more than ever we need leaders that we can look up to who don’t run from the challenge of being mentors and role models! We need men and women with backbone and conviction and the courage to pursue what is right no matter what obstacles might stand in the way.

Let us face reality here. It is easy to pretend to be somebody that you are not. Putting on a show is a whole lot simpler than having to mature in the areas where character is involved. We have all been let down by a man or a woman that we believed in who, upon closer observation, was nothing like the role they played. I really can’t handle fake and phony people! I never could. I hate schmoozing! I don’t have the stomach for chitchat where one tries to outdo the other by passing out vain flattery like it was candy. I would much rather people come as they truly are rather than just sow seeds of hypocrisy into already ruined fields. We need to be brave enough to be the men and women that God created us and recreated us to be. Please!

We have all cheered for sports figures that cheated at their craft and then would not sincerely come clean with an apology. It is one thing to say, “I am sorry” because you have been caught versus really being repentant over the wrongdoing committed because you know you did wrong and your wrong hurt others. Where have you gone Sergeant Joe Friday of Dragnet fame who always prefaced every conversation with this condition: “Just the facts, please, just the facts!”

Teachers need to teach students the value of honor. We all need to be a little less egocentric and lots more others centered. The world does not revolve around us and we do have a duty to look out for one another before we take care of ourselves. Our word is our bond and must carry the weight of it being solid and trustworthy and not just useless fluff adding to the noise of our society. Are you believable? Are you a person who is deeper than they are wide? Are you compassionate and caring and a good neighbor and friend? Do you show up when the heat is on and are you ready to take the hits when it could very well save the whole block and not just your own homestead?

In the 1960’s we shot our dreamers and we didn’t honor well those who had the inner qualifications to take us someplace worth going. In the 1970’s and 80’s we bought into the excess generation and began to live as we deserved it all and then some! In the 1990’s we began to get sloppy with our standards and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to improprieties as long as we were well fed and had money in the bank. And now today, who can you trust? What happened to those we could look up to? Oh, how the mighty have fallen and have we crossed over the point of no return when it comes to expecting excellence and taking pride in the behavior of our civic leaders?

Help us Lord, we are in over our heads! And I refuse to receive a good grade if it hasn’t been genuinely earned. I don’t like being rewarded on a curve. I reject the notion that everybody should get a trophy and nobody can be criticized. How then shall we live unless we allow somebody more righteous than we presently are to train us up in the way we should go? It does matter what you say and how you act and whether you are a strong finisher and not just a great starter! Do we still dream of perfection? Isn’t sacrifice still a noble cause? It is not every man for himself but loving one another is eternally the golden rule that leads to real life. Please God, save us from living stories way too small and much too predictable. Call us into the much bigger picture than the one we presently see looking only through our own eyes.

The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate” and “entire.” In Spanish it is rendered “integro,” meaning whole. Integrity thus implies the state of being complete, undivided, intact, and unbroken. Such a state contrasts with one that is scattered, fragmented and incomplete. Integrity is really the bond that holds all of our virtues together. It is the distinguishing mark of a man or a woman who has successfully integrated all good principles of life into a unified whole.

Please don’t get sloppy when it comes to defining what a good man or woman should be like. Yes, we come to God just as we are – but if we have really come to God then we never stay the way we are! Ask the Lord to shine a light into your soul so that He can clean up fully the mess of own making and recreate within us human beings who reflect the glory of the Creator!



One response

18 04 2014
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