Friday, July 16, 2010

Comes Down to This

"Integrity has high influence value."

We must be aggressive in making sure our integrity stays at a high level. I love how my father-n-law says it, "Integrity is the things I tell you before you find out the hard way." So true. Because of the age we live in we have the awesome ability to connect with people from all over the place.
The last couple of months I've been talking to a lot of friends long distances about some issues concerning where they live, and throughout the converstions it boils down to "lack of integrity."

Has nothing to do about salvation, perspectives, viewpoints, or even theology. That's important to recognize; because one can say all the right things but actions will always speak louder.

I believe it's easy to sit back and say, "well, I have integrity so this is pointless." True. We all have some level of integrity, the key is to look for way to grow it. Yep! Have more!

Too often we can appear to lose or even completely have lost our integrity. We see it in the news of people we once respected and now no longer do because of some action that violated our trust towards them.
That's why we must "tell before it comes out the hard way." It may be hard to do, but not near as hard as building from lost integrity. In these times, high integrity is attractive and worth following. I think of many of the men and women of God in my life that I have surrounded myself by and although we may not agree with methods, viewpoints or even theologies, I respect them in the highest regard because they live with the uttermost integrity.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Sleeping Policeman

Picture a guy driving in his car, the radio on and even possibly drinking a soda when all of the sudden, "wham!" The care bumps in the air, his head hits the ceiling, and some of his drink spills out. He immediately brings the car to a stop and gets out to discover he went over a speed bump.
He starts kicking it!
Can you imagine?
The man starts pointing his finger at it, yelling; "You dumb speed bump! Didn't you know I was driving just fine by myself?! Couldn't you see where I was going? You're trying to stop me from getting where I want to go! Oh, look at you just lying there, so smug, who gave you the right to be there?!"
I'm pretty sure if we saw that scene we'd probably be making a call to the "loony bin" for that guy.

No, we don't see that usually play out. In fact, most people see a speed bump in plenty of time to slow down and take it easy. No one want's to purposely cause damage to their vehicle or throw their tires out of balance or cause a mess inside their car; or worse yet cause some other accident to someone else.
These piles of concrete or asphalt, or "sleeping policemen" they call them in some countries are simply reminders to slow down a bit and use some caution before proceeding.

You know, just as the above situation sounds quite silly; as if it would ever happen, it goes to be said that it's a situation often seen in the area of personal lives.
Someone gives you advice or thoughts about a direction and out come excuses and even in some case backlash towards that person. Even in extreme cases there may be even accusations towards that person of being judgmental or "high and mighty."
I'm sure there are dozens of reasons. But possibly the most common is because you're not accountable.
There is a great difference between knowing what accountability is and being accountable.
I often explain that accountability is like a two sided coin; on one side it's the "You ask and I tell" aspect. And it works great. The other side is "I tell before you ask" and it works even better.
So how about it? Do you have some "sleeping policemen" in your life that are there to give you a little bump or nudge as you journey through life?
If not, I'd encourage you to find some that will speak into your life; no matter how uncomfortable they may be at times
Sleeping policemen may cause a little bump, but better is it to slow down and take a bump than speed through and cause a mess.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Change This or That

"What you believe dictates your actions, and actions lead to the desired outcome." Many people who are frustrated or unhappy with their current outcome in life think the best thing to do is make a different choice.
New job.
Better church.
Different spouse.

Something different because the current situation is not what we thought it would be. Now sure there are times when making a switch can be a very good thing, (especially when it doesn't go against God's guidelines) but many times after the "newness" has lost it's sparkle, we start looking again for something different.

Possibly because it's easy to address actions or choices. Example, if I asked you "how" you spend your money, you could easily show me your debit card statement or check book or even credit card bill. The "outcome" of those items reflect what choices you made. But if I was to ask you, "what do you believe about money?" That may take some work in articulating properly. That's why it's especially important to address our "beliefs" and what we truly believe.

When it comes to changing your outcome, it's been well said; "wherever you go, there you are." The one factor that remains the same in every situation is "us."
Philippians 4:13 is the famous verse where Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." And when you look at it in the verses leading up to it you find that it's the strength in Christ that gives contentment in every situation.

Inevitably, our thinking leads to feelings. So the only effective way to move toward growth and fulfillment when we're feeling dissatisfied or inexplicably stagnant is to dig deeply into God's Word to find real answers that change our thinking and develop a Godly belief system.