Fence Post of Faith November 2013

This month I want to share a chapter from a book we are studying at our Men’s group at Church, “UN Common life “by Tony Dungy. This Chapter is on Honesty and Integrity. Hope you get something out of it….

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom—Thomas Jefferson

When I was growing up, the rules in our home were set in stone. If there was a rule, we knew we had better follow it. An interesting corollary; however was that honesty had a way of reducing any punishment to come. As a boy, I thought that my dad had coined the phrase ‘the truth shall set you free.” But when I got older, I learned he was actually quoting Jesus.

   Shirting the rules will come back to hurt you. Whether it’s doing something illegal or cheating on a test rather than actually learning the material, you may get the edge and experience a short-term “win,” but dishonesty will eventually catch up with you. I’m fortunate to have learned this at home. Ehen I went away to college, my mother’s words kept coming back to me: It’s sometimes easier to do the wrong thing, but it’s always better to do the right thing. That’s life. That’s integrity—the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.

  Integrity is what you do when no one is watching. It’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction!

  Integrity is critical to everything we do because it is the foundation of trustworthiness in our own eyes. Can I count on you to be my teammate, perform your assignment, and do your work in the weight room in the off season? Can I count on you to be my business partner, or do I have to keep one eye on you while I’m trying to serve the customers? Can I count on you to do what you say you will do, no matter what may come along to make it difficult?

  If you’re still living at home, can your parents trust you to do the right thing all the time, even when they’re not there? When you get married, will your wife be able to count on you to be her faithful husband? Or will she have to worry about you having an affair because you aren’t honest in other areas of your life?

   The great thing about integrity is that It has nothing to do with wealth or race or gender or accomplishments. From the moment you are born, you—and you alone—determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees—low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you do not.

  You can read in the Old Testament book in Daniel (Chapter 6) that Daniel “was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.” We should lie our lives like Daniel, so that if we ever had an FBI background check or a newspaper reporter digging into our personal lives, they would find no “dirt” on us but would find us to be honest and trustworthy.

  I care about my reputation, but I can’t control what other people think about me. What I can control is my integrity; what I think of me. I do this by taking care of the little things, day in and day out, even when no one else is watching.

Adios Jeff Metcalf