26 February, 2011

Integrity? Does It Matter?

I realize that I am getting older and times have changed... but somethings, in my opinion, ought never to change. Integrity is one of those issues. I grew up in a time when a hand shake sealed a deal between two men, and when a man said he would do something, you went on about your business expecting that thing to be done. That's just the way it was. A person's word meant something. Sadly, that just does not seem to be the case any more. If a person does not uphold their end of an agreement, it is as if you have no right to be disappointed or upset with them. I refuse to live that way. If I tell you I am going to do something, I will do it, even if it costs me more than I had anticipated or takes me away from something else; because I gave my word that I would do something. I know that people often get upset with me because they will try to nail me down to a commitment, and when I tell them that I cannot make that commitment, but that I will try, that upsets them.  But when I commit to something... well, I am committed. Right? No matter what else comes up, I have committed myself to be somewhere or to do something. So if I am uncertain, I am careful to tell people that I cannot make a solid commitment to them, but if they would like to hold that time open, I will try. To me, there is nothing worse than someone who commits to something and then routinely cancels or no-shows, or fails to follow through. Their word means nothing to me from that point on, and I have no confidence in them.

I've gone through an issue with my son in recent months and I drew a line in the sand and told him that if a certain thing was not done by a certain date, there would be a price to pay. (Outlined for him, not needed here) He has pushed the envelope to the very edge, having 2 days left and the promise made has not been fulfilled. As much as it will pain me, I will prove to my son what integrity is and uphold the agreed upon terms. That's what integrity is all about. It will be a painful lesson for him and even more painful to me, but I will stand on my word. He needs to know that there is such a thing as integrity in a world that does not seem to think it is important. Especially to those of us who call ourselves Christians, we need to understand that our lack of integrity is a cancer on the Body of Christ.  When we say we are going to do something, then we must do it, because we soil the Name of Jesus along side our own. We live in a day when people are looking for something real. We need to show it to them. 

I ran across a quote a little earlier today that I will close this with: "If you have integrity, nothing else matters.  If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."  ~Alan Simpson

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