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My Integrity

Nov 08, 2011

To Say that most days I feel (and LOOK!) like a hot mess is an understatement. If I actually wrote down, in black-and-white, my mistakes from this last week alone, WOW!, I’d probably just walk out the door in abject humiliation over my inanity. I’ve forgotten important papers, hung up on my boss, spilled coffee and forgot to lockup the office correctly. The GB office staff have become experts at turning a blind eye as I climb this steep learning curve. Sheesh! I like that our crew is good with my “issues.”

Speaking of, after a lovely conversation with a lady in an office today, she handed me a t-shirt saying, “This shirt is PERFECT for you!  It’s absolutely adorable and I think it’s just your size.”  After we walked out the door, my friend Ryan looked at me and said, “You DO realize she said that shirt was perfect for you, right?”  I looked down and saw the shirt read, “I Have Issues.”  Hmmm…What gave me away?

Issues.  Small ones don’t kill anyone.  They’re even humorous at times.  But then there are the really big issues, character issues.  These are the really deep-rooted ones that can eventually alienate us from our friends, family and even God.  THOSE are the ones I don’t want ANY part of.

In the long scheme of things, spilling a cup of coffee is ok.  A little scatter-brain can be fixed with the flip of a switch or sweep of a paper towel over a spilled drink.  But what CAN’T be easily fixed is my character, my integrity.  I’ve got to make the hard decisions, day in and day out until they are no longer hard decisions.  I’ve got to spend time with God and obey what He says.  Simple right?

If I fail to make the right decision, at first, no one notices.  It’s kinda like my sis, the concert pianist.  (Non-musicians, keep trackin with me, I promise there’s a point!)  I was trying to get her to skip her practice to hang out with me.  She was just about to concede but then stopped: “Annetta, I can’t go.”

“Why? One day won’t make ANY difference.”

“Actually, it will.  If I miss one day of practice, I will notice.  If I miss 2 days of practice, my teacher will notice.  If I miss 3 days, the whole world will notice.  I can’t afford for anyone to notice.” 

Wow.  If I don’t spend time in His Word for one day, I feel a little gripey…it’s as if my equilibrium is thrown off.  If I don’t spend time with God for two days, my friends and family notice I’m a little ornery.  But if I miss out with Him for THREE days?!!  I have a full-blown, mean case of the reds.  And even the local grocery teller thinks I’m a horror-of-a-human-being. 

Do What He Says

Ok. So my sis has the consistent practice thing, down.  But what she didn’t do was practice correctly.  Her teacher told her she had bad technique and told her how to correct it.  But the bad technique was the easy way to play that particular piece and it was way too time-consuming to practice the “right” way.  If she kept this up, eventually, her muscles and skeletal structure would change, making allowances for this poor technique.   Her poor technique and posture would cause her muscles to form inappropriately.  In short, she’d develop major issues and probably have to quit playing the piano.  Permanently. 

So, in order to keep growing in her playing (without injury) she had to listen to her teacher and actually follow his advice.

In all of this, I keep thinking of James words, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”  James 1:23-25

If we hear the Word of God, and know what we are to do, we have to do it.  We have to start out by actually LISTENING to the Word and then actually DOING it.  If we hear it and then walk away without changing any of our bad habits of technique, we’ll be in the same boat as my sis would have been:  Knowing the correct way of practicing, we’ll develop bad technique; we’ll develop permanent “issues.”  We have to spend time with God AND do what He says. 

I love the last of these verses that say we have to persevere…It’s a DAILY affair.  Making time with God part of normal life makes the ordinary extraordinary.  If I’ve heard ANYTHING from Priscilla, I’ve heard, “There’s always more”.  There is always more to God.  There is always more to hear…more for Him to say…and more for us to obey.  So my prayer for you as you read this is “More Jesus, MORE!”

I’m sure I’ll keep you in the loop on my exploits here in the office… groan in horror WITH me at my mistakes! 

AND make sure you tune in tomorrow (Thursday) for our live webcast…I can’t WAIT!!