The Search For Integrity…

I am sure I am not the only one who has heard the saying “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” First I would like to come out and say that this is a lie – for words hurt the most, or at least that is my opinion. Second, I want to say that it is thru people’s words and hurtfulness we are refined and hopefuly find integirty. I recently found myself in quite the conundrum… yes that is me using one of my favorite words… Well, I was on a rather long journey and was attempting to travel it with integrity.

I would like to define integrity as “the quality or state of being complete or undivided.” I have come to know that the Latin word for integrity means entire, which leads me to think that integrity means allowing everything we are on the inside to be obvious on the outside. Is it fair to say that true integrity is becoming the same person, no matter where we are or who is around? Notice I said becoming, I use that word because I think becoming a person of integrity is a process, a long process, with many mistakes along the way. However, I do not believe that integrity comes easy or without pain. I have come to understand the very pain that comes from people’s opinions of my life, my choices and my search for integrity. Now, I have always been a people pleaser, I hate it when people don’t like me or are mad at me. But more than that, I hate it when I think the Lord is upset with me. I have learned to change my focus and desire to please people to be more in the direction of pleasing the Lord only.

You know, as a “Christian” people are not always going to understand the decisions I make or the words I speak, but it is my desire to have my heart and passion for the Lord appear on the outside as obvious and passionate as it is on the inside. The things people say will sting, for not everyone will agree with the path I have chosen or the paths I choose in the future, but with the focus taken off of others and placed back onto the Lord, the sting goes away. I am not saying the road I will travel will be evenly paved but it will be covered by the blood of Jesus, which means it is a road covered in forgiveness, grace, mercy and unboundless love.  For I want to make Him proud, I want to walk His road, regardless of my human desires, I want to bring Him glory. And out of that I believe comes integrity.   I understand and have experienced the pain of not being able to do what I want, rather having to do what the Lord asks of me. I have hurt people I cherish along the way and most of all I have scared my heart. I have cried boundless amounts of tears and spent hours trying to talk the Lord into the simple fact that I think my way is the better choice, but at the end of the day, I heard Him loud and clear. It is His way that is best. I do not have the power to see the future, or understand what road I am on, but I do know that it is His hand I will follow.

I know that I am covered by mistakes and pain, but it is His hands that bleed for my forgiveness. And regardless of the mistakes I have made, at the end of the day, I will rest in knowing that I choose the Lord, I choose Jesus and above all I choose forgiveness and grace.  Regardless, to Him be the glory forever and ever Amen!

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