Proverbs 10:9 – She who walks with integrity walks securely.
Question: do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I never do. Except this year – I made more of a declaration than a resolution. For me, I have declared that 2017 is the Year of INTEGRITY: I am committing to doing my best at being the SAME person in private, as I am in public. Who I am at home, is who you will encounter at Target. And who I am at Target is who I am at church. And who I am at church is who I am at work. You get the picture.
Years ago, I read a book by Bill Hybels (Pastor at Willow Creek Church in Chicago) called “Who You Are When No One’s Looking”.
Here’s a description of the book “We are all at our best when it counts. But what are we like when no one’s looking? That’s where character comes in–being consistent even when it doesn’t seem to matter. Courage. Discipline. Vision. Endurance. Love. These character qualities are quickly becoming endangered. All too often we hear of marriages falling apart, governments lying, businesses cheating and scandals rocking the church. But with God’s guidance and strength, we can maintain character that lasts despite temptations and troubles.”
COURAGE: I know without a doubt that there are subtle differences in how I act and react at home, versus in public. Quicker to be frustrated, disappointed, or irritated. Quicker to respond in a harsh tone, or hold a grudge. However; It takes courage to recognize the need to change. It’s hard to look honestly in the mirror sometimes. It takes courage to live by God’s standard and not the world’s standard.
DISCIPLINE: Having the self-discipline to change something takes energy and focus. It means looking straight ahead at that goal, without looking to the left or right. Laser focus. Saying “no” to your will, instead of “yes” to God’s will is tough! It’s being self-less instead of selfish.
VISION: There are “visionaries” in this world who see the BIG picture. Visionaries are on the front end of every great mission. Visionaries can “see” the future. And then, they describe it to the rest of us so we can see it to. They’re the “idea” people. It is my prayer, that God would allow me to see my world through His lens. Not through my own tiny, limited lens. Ladies, I just got progressive lens bi-focals. I’m that old. The bi-focals help me focus on the things right in front of me. But they get blurry when I look through them to see something in the distance. If I want to see distance I have to gaze up beyond the bi-focal part. Look UP to see the BIG picture. To see where God is calling you, and what He’s calling you to do!
ENDURANCE: Let’s just be honest – consistency can be exhausting sometimes! Am I right? It takes endurance to continually focus on the goal. I enjoy running. I never thought I was a runner, until I just decided one day – I’m going to run. Running takes all of these character traits I’ve just mentioned: courage, discipline, vision and endurance! It takes endurance to run the race and focus our gaze on the finish line. But with His help – we can run it confidently, without growing weary and finish well.
LOVE: Having integrity takes a huge amount of love. My first and most important love has to be my love for Christ, and what He has done for me. Out of that love that I have for Him, grows the desire to be more like Him. Why does He have to be FIRST? Because if He isn’t first in my life, there is no way I can truly love others as I am called to love them. Unselfishly, and unconditionally. Am I perfect at loving? Absolutely not. My past makes it pretty clear that I’m not. But in the grand scheme of God’s vision He has laid before me – I know that LOVING BIG like He loves is my ultimate goal and prize. There’s huge blessing in loving BIG.
Since the day I opened my shop, I truly desired to create a shop where people could walk in and feel welcomed, and appreciated. I ask for His Holy Spirit to dwell here every day. I see my little shop as a place where I can freely share the love of Christ with every person who walks through the door. To show them that they MATTER. That I SEE them, and He sees them.
So, why have there been days where I’ve treated my customers better than my family? Good question.
God has clearly shown me that integrity starts at home. When my husband and kids walk in the door – I want them to know that they matter, that they are noticed and appreciated and loved. I don’t want to give them my emotional ‘left overs.’ And I’m guessing you don’t either. Yep, sometimes I’m just plain old tired…
That’s where: courage, discipline, vision, endurance and love come in.
I’ll close with this: Who do you want to be when no one’s looking? How will you become that person?
Bless you today! Love BIG!
Be – Daily His…