What Do Your Actions Say About Your Integrity

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Integrity speaks. Loudly, and most often, when we’re completely oblivious as to who’s watching. But the truth is, someone is always watching, and if you’re a follower of Christ, this is a big deal because we are Christ’s representatives. This means, others will catch a glimpse of who Christ is by what we do and say. More so what we do. Our actions either back up and strengthen our words, or they contradict them.

Integrity doesn’t happen over night. And it doesn’t just happen. It’s developed choice by choice, thought by thought, until it’s just something we do. Until it’s almost organic to us.

For those of you who are following our study of John the Baptist:

John’s life was characterized by integrity. (I’ll share some suggested reading passages at the end of this post.) He continually did what was right–whatever God had called him to do–even when doing so was crazy hard, and ultimately cost him his life. That’s integrity, and man, did that speak.

sarah-ruutToday’s guest, my sweet friend and fellow ACFW member Sarah Ruut, shares a moment when a stranger caught a moment of integrity she wasn’t even aware of, and what she learned from it.

The Statement of Integrity by Sarah Ruut

During our trips to Costco, one of the highlights for my kids is the sample carts. On this particular morning, I had all four kids with me, and they had gone over to a particularly crowded cart. I stayed close enough to give my approval to the lady serving them, but far enough to avoid the jumble of carts and bodies.

It took a few minutes for them each to have a bite in hand and return. As they photo-1448131063153-f1e240f98a72stood next to our cart enjoying their little treat, another shopper approached.

“I just want to tell you how impressed I am with your son.”

Oh? My mind replayed the scene, wondering what had caught her attention.

“There weren’t enough samples for all of them, so he served his younger siblings first and waited for the next batch to get his own.”

I hadn’t even picked up on that, but the simple, quiet action had obviously made an impression.

We have opportunities to make impressions on those around us every day. Often we don’t even stop to think about it. How many people see what you do? The decisions you make, or the way you respond to a challenge?

Probably more than you think.

Sometimes it’s easy to think, “No one will ever know. No one will ever see.” We can use that as an excuse to get away with something we would not do in front of others, especially those we want to impress. But if no one will ever know…?

That very decision, though, defines your character. Do you have integrity? Will you do what’s right, no matter who is or isn’t looking?

I love this quote from Chuck Swindoll:

“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” ~ Chuck Swindoll

Doing what’s right. No matter who’s watching. No matter what the circumstances. Just doing the right thing. Do we?

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Sarah Ruut is an avid reader of Christian fiction when she’s not busy homeschooling her four tweens and teens. She loves sharing about books and their authors on her blog, Fiction, Faith, and Fun, where you’ll find devotionals as well as reviews of Christian fiction, interviews with amazing authors, giveaways and more! You can also connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

livingbygracepic-jpLet’s talk about this! Can you share a time when you were faced with a difficult choice, maybe when you worried doing the right thing would cost you something, and what the result was? Do you have any thoughts on Sarah’s post? Share your thoughts, stories, and examples here in the comments below, on Facebook at Living by Grace, or join our discussion in the For the Love Bible Study group.

Read the following Bible passages and consider how they reveal John’s integrity:

Luke 1:13-17, Matthew 3:4

John 1:19-27

Matthew 14:1-12

You may also enjoy: In the Absence of Integrity

Learn to be Content

I love progress. I love to achieve, to dream, and to take determined and well-planned steps forward. Sometimes this is a great thing, other times my visionary thinking can cause me to lose sight of all the wonderful gifts God’s bestowed on me now.

Today’s post, written by friend and author Sarah Ruut, challenged me to… Well, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

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photo by David Castillo Dominici taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Graduation is such an exciting time! It represents a transition from youth to adulthood — the beginning of a new phase in life.

Most teenagers eagerly anticipate that wonderful day when they will be free to actually live their lives, because life begins after school, right?

That thought seems to last until graduation, and then a new thought works its way into the young mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to get married? To have someone special in your life who would happily commit to spending life together? Oh, how hard it is to wait for that big day.

Not long after the wedding, often thoughts of children follow. Babies are so sweet and so cute and so…

Once children are running through the house, the weary young mom can’t wait until they are all in school so she has a few hours of peace.

Those school years quickly lead to the potentially-tumultuous teen years, and the weary parents are anxious for the day when their children will leave the nest to make their way in the world, leaving the parents free to more fully pursue their own dreams.

Do you see where we are headed? The next promotion, the next house, even the next answered prayer…

When we focus so much of our thought-life on that next goal we want to attain, we forget to stop and enjoy the moment we are living. We forget that this spot, today, right where we are, is where God has us. He has us here for a reason, and we need to focus on the tasks at hand.Learn to be Content

Does that mean we shouldn’t dream or pray for something different? No, that’s not what I mean. Dreams and goals are good things, as long as we don’t allow that to breed discontent with our current circumstances.

The apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content in any circumstance.” (Philippians 4:11b, NET)

Can we say the same? Are you content where you are right now, or are you chafing inside, anxious for that next step that you are hoping and praying is right around the corner?

I am not a big-city girl, but that is where the Lord has me right now. I have spent the past few years dreaming, hoping… and yes, complaining. I don’t want to be stuck here, but I don’t have any choice, and so I grumble.

But that’s not what the Lord wants us to do, is it? He has a purpose for every part of our lives (check out Jeremiah 29:11 if you doubt that…), and we need to be willing to do what He’s called us to do right here. Before we know it, the opportunities we have now will be gone.

Which reminds me of a song. (Those of you who know me already know that most things remind me of a song…lol) Trace Adkins tells us, “You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast…”

Let’s not waste today pining for tomorrow. Let’s make the most of today, looking for the purpose God has in today. If we watch for His hand and His blessings, we too can learn to be content in any circumstance.

Sarah Ruut PicSarah Ruut is an avid reader who loves sharing about books and their authors on her blog. You’ll find devotionals as well as reviews of Christian fiction, interviews with amazing authors, giveaways and more at sarahruut.com. You can also connect with Sarah on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

 

Let’s talk about this. Are you planner and what-iff-er? livingbygracepic.jpDoes your planning, worrying side hinder your ability to enjoy the present? If so, what are some ways you can learn to be content right where God has you at this moment? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.