Tag Archives: integrity

A Resolution to Live Today with Tomorrow in Mind

Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.

A good [woman] leaves an inheritance. Proverbs 13:22

In the final section of The Resolution for Women, Shirer shares a story about her aunt, a woman in her mid-fifties has lived life to its fullest in spite of the fact that she’s never married and has never had children of her own. As I read her testimony, I could not help but be inspired. My life, up until this moment at least, has wandered down that same path. I too, do not have a husband, nor do I have children…yet. I’m still young. I still have time. Granted, I’m not guaranteed tomorrow and the work God has called me to complete could be accomplished today, but still…I have time. So do you.

We are all called to leave a legacy behind. We are called to set this in stone; to journal it; to keep it however you keep it.

Personally, I journal. It’s great, being able to look back over the years and see God’s hand weaving through the pattern of my life. I’ve even been able to come to an understanding of certain circumstances and trials I had to face to get to where I am today. It’s amazing how He works.

Shirer points to the spiritual legacy her amazing aunt is leaving behind and she points to the spiritual offspring that us singles (and non-singles) tend to forget about. Each of our lives impact other lives. God created us to be relational creatures and it naturally happens. We are surrounded by people waiting to be filled with our wisdom; to learn from our own lives. “As women in whom God’s Spirit lives and has borne fruit, we have each been called to leave a godly legacy, to pass the baton of His grace and truth to others who will then take it to lengths and destinations we will never go ourselves…This is a heavenly mandate…Your lifespan is simply not long or large enough to contain the heights and depths of [God’s] activity, then to swallow it whole without offering anyone else a bite.” (p. 257)

Think about that for a moment.

In looking over my own life, so many women have left their legacy’s imprint in my own life (not just my mother). I’m speaking of Connie, Bethany, Brandie, and many other young women from Brookings, SD. I’m speaking of my very first piano teacher, Bertha, and so many other wonderful people who have touched my life. This thanks goes to the men too…that you Dad!

Are you making today’s decisions with their impact on tomorrow in mind? When you’re arranging your priorities and forming your habits, do you think about your children, your grandchildren, people you inspire, about the kind of character they’ll remember about you and inherit from you? When you spend your money, or sport your fashion sense, or speak you piece, or spare you time, does it ever occur to you that you’re not just making a choice for yourself, in the moment?  That you’re making a choice which impacts people who are following behind you? That you’re perhaps playing a role in the attitudes and observations of a young woman you hardly know, maybe even a total stranger who one day hears someone telling what you were like?

People tend to spend more time planning on their physical inheritance rather than their spiritual one. I’m asking you to choose to live today as though someone’s tomorrow depended on it. Putting it in that light changes things, doesn’t it?

Let me put it this way. Are you going to choose life? Or choose death?

We all have a legacy to leave (whether we have children or not). Find your way to leave it. The questions I posed at the start of this entry…they are the kind of questions you need t o keep in mind when thinking about what you will do today; how you will respond in this moment; what type of resolutions you will make and live by. These decisions matter right now, and they keep on mattering.

They are your legacy.

Integrity

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways. Proverbs 28:6

Integrity is superior than riches. What we need most is an upright heart, not prosperity. If we measure our society against the Scripture, we can see how far off the norm is.

Integrity derives from the Latin root word of “integer”, meaning complete, wholeness. So, in terms of a person, we can say he is complete in the sense that his personality is not fractured, not double minded.

Of course, I am referring to integrity as singleness of heart in the good sense. We can not say a man who sell his soul to the devil wholeheartedly has anything to do with integrity. Whereas the opposite to integrity is hypocrisy (or corruption), doing things with a hidden motive behind a good cover.

We should pursue spiritual goals over material gains. Let our eyes be used as one.

A Note on Integrity

A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
Ill-gotten gain has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
The LORD will not let the godly starve to death, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.
Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.
A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.
The godly are showered with blessings; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.
We all have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.
The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.
Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but fools will be punished with a rod.
Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.
The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their calamity.
The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray. 
To hide hatred is to be a liar; to slander is to be a fool.
Don’t talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!
The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.
The godly give good advice, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.
The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly.
Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge.
Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain.
The LORD protects the upright but destroys the wicked.
The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.
The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. 
The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.

Proverbs 10:1-32

I had the hardest time selecting just one piece of wisdom from the scripture above. There is SO much in chapter 10…I could spend another month just hashing through it, verse by verse.

In the end, I opted for verse 9, which speaks about integrity. When a person thinks of integrity, he or she generally focus’ in on morals, ethics, or character. To be sure, it is all of this and more. When I think of integrity, I think of something that is whole, complete. It’s from a root word that means intact. It means our hearts are not divided. There is no hidden agenda. It means doing the right thing even if no one is looking.

Let me set up a couple of scenarios for you.

  • You’re just wrapping up at the checkout counter when you realize the cashier gave you $10.00 extra in change. Do you simply grin to yourself, thinking that you’re lucky to have the extra cash? Or do you give it back?
  • It’s Friday evening. You’re out with a few friends at a local hot spot when you notice that the man two tables over had left his wallet behind. Do you keep the money out of it and opt to mail the wallet to its owner anonymously? Or, do you throw it aside, keeping the cash you found inside? Or, since you saw him leave, do you run after him in an attempt to return it with all of its contents in tact?
  • Are you an active participant in people bashing? Or do you choose to lift the other person high, even though they bash you?
  • Is your behavior appropriate only on Sundays? Do you spend the rest of your week conforming to your surroundings? Or, do you live your life in such a radical way day in and day out?

There are two types of integrity: personal and group. Do you privately practice what you preach in public?

Think of a piece of clean, clear, pale of glass. Such a piece of glass will look the same from both sides. You can turn it around, turn it upside down, flip-flop it, it doesn’t matter. It is clear and complete regardless of the angle. The glass has integrity.

A person of integrity manifests this same singleness. He doesn’t, for instance, have a clear public side and a shady private side. He doesn’t have a Sunday face that is directly opposite of his weekday face. She doesn’t carry on the work of the Lord on one hand and the work of the devil on the other. Integrity speaks of a singleness of purpose, singleness of will, singleness of heart.

Proverbs 10:9, “The man of integrity walks securely. He who takes crooked paths will be found out.” One of the benefits of walking in integrity is confidence. You don’t have any skeletons in your closet. You don’t have anything to hide.

How will you choose to live today?