Monday, January 18, 2016

Integrity--I Guess That's Better Than Outegrity


When we think of the word "Integrity", we usually apply it to the moral character of a person. A person who always seeks to do the right thing. A person who does not live by a two sided standard of what is right and what is wrong. A person who does not use others to gain their own way. But there was a definition of integrity, when looking it up this morning, that I had not ever seen before.
                             "The state of being whole and undivided".

To me, that is a person who walks out what they truly believe. A person who is comfortable in their own skin. A person who is not driven by the opinion of others. This is something that I think we all need to strive for. That what we do is a reflection of what we believe.

There are a lot of hurting people out there. People who have messed up their lives to a degree that it's hard to have hope for them. It's hard for them to have hope for themselves. I think the church has done a disservice by putting forth a message that if you will come to Jesus, it's going to be alright. Jesus will save you! Jesus will turn all your troubles into gold! It's going to be unicorn's, lollipop's, and puppy dog's from now own. I know that isn't an intentional message of false hope. I also realize that the message falls on ears and hearts that are desperate to get out of the mess they are in. In fact a lot of times the message that is heard is more about someone who can change my situation rather than someone who can change me. I want to always be careful about what I teach or say at Vineyard ReCovery church. I do not want to lead anyone into false hope or pipe dreams that have no end or conclusion.

King David wrote something in Psalm 24 that has stuck with me through the years.

"Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him. Who seek Your face".
 This description of clean hands and pure hearts....
Someone who hasn't bent his knee to worship anything or anyone outside of the One True Living God.....
Someone who hasn't sworn in deceit...
That person will receive blessing from God.


All change takes place in the heart.
Change the heart...
Change the mind...
Change the mind...
Change the behavior....
Change the behavior, and there will be strength to carry out the Serenity prayer.

An acceptance from God in my life to recognize those areas that I cannot change or affect. A heavenly courage to lay hold of and change the things that need changing, and divine wisdom to know the difference.
From this point, having been given the ability to see my current lot in life, I set about seeking God through prayer and His word on how to address my issues. But whatever happens, I do not throw away my integrity. I do not push God to the side and work out my own issues in the way I want to . Easy to say...hard to do. But like I've written in the past, if we don't attempt to live in this new life, then we are destined to repeat the past over and over and over.

I don't know that I can prove this.....
But I believe that as our world has changed, and continues to slide down a slippery slope of moral laxness, those who are men and women of integrity are going to stand out a bit. It may truly become hard to live in such a world. It may be that persecution will be the norm for such who choose to follow Jesus. I don't know what form this persecution will take, but it will be obvious to others if we choose to follow Jesus. We need to pray for those who don't know relationship with Jesus. We need to pray that God would grant us wisdom in teaching and training them how to live. We need to pray for each other that none of us may return to our old ways.

God on you...
mbb

No comments:

Denial

(Taken From The Intro To The Book Of Ezekiel In The Message Bible) Denial refuses to acknowledge the destruction we have brought on ...