The word of the evening at our Junior High meeting was INTEGRITY.
Here are some definitions, according to Merriam-Webster:
1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY.
2. an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS.
3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided: COMPLETENESS.
The students were challenged to live a life of integrity. We should all live a life of integrity. We should be who we are in all situations, unless of course you have multiple personalities and that is your excuse, but I don't think there are too many of us who fit into this category. Do you act a certain way with one group of people and a different way with another group of people? If so, why? Be who you are. Don't compromise who you are to win the approval of some group you don't think will like you if they really knew you. What a tiring life to lead having to be a different person with different groups. I would think that would get confusing. I would forget eventually who I was supposed to be with which group (my memory isn't what it used to be).
Someone at youth group shared the story of a woman who raises her hands in praise to God on Sunday morning and says hi to her in the halls of the church, but last summer was seen swearing at a lifeguard at a community pool. That is not a life of integrity. What is the purpose of trying to make it look like you've got it all together if you don't? We all live on this earth together. There is not one of us who is perfect. We should care for one another and help each other through the hard times. If you are struggling with something, don't act like everything is okay. Ask for help. There is someone nearby who will take care of you. Better to admit you are struggling with something so it is out in the open than to hope no one who sees you on Sunday will see you any other day of the week. To me, there is integrity in admitting a fault or admitting you are struggling and asking for help.
What about your job, be it out of the home or in the home? Do you work with integrity? Do you do your best? Are you kind to customers in front of their face and behind their backs? Do you complete the task you are required to do? Are you able to live your life without being corrupted by the bad habits of others?
One area I struggle with as a mom is playing the martyr. I have been given 3 beautiful blessings that I get to share my day with and train them in the way they should go. I allow my role as mom and wife to be corrupted by my own selfishness. I allow it to be tarnished by my attitude. Instead of being a blessing to my husband and my children, I sometimes throw myself a pity party. That is very convicting now that I am admitting it. I tell Nathan all the time not to throw a pity party for himself because I don't go to them. :( I guess I really do. The biggest thing that causes me to lose my "integrity" in this role of mine is - it is such a stupid thing - housework. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who does it. It seems no one else sees what needs done. Oh, woe is me! Why am I the only one who has eyes to see the mess that has overtaken my humble abode? How can no one else feel the overwhelming burden of the sink full of dishes or the mountain of laundry? How is no one else suffocating from the dust...SNAP OUT OF IT!! Perhaps they have a better handle on reality than I do. Is the housework really all that important? Granted, we need clean dishes, and we need clean clothes; but perhaps if I had a schedule or perhaps if we had a system in our house where the kids could sort their laundry or load the dishwasher...Oh wait, that'd be my fault, too, that we don't. I like my dishwasher loaded just so, and who will scrub out the stains on the clothes?
Perhaps tomorrow's blog will be about stepping back and reassessing the reality I have created for myself and seeing what I can change so that my life will have more integrity, more soundness, more completeness. Maybe along the way I will help someone else. Remember, we all live here together, and we need to support each other through this life. Until tomorrow...