Integrity Like An Orange

Greetings!

We are one quick week away from Thanksgiving and I could not be more excited. Lately I have really been feeling a need for a break, a little getaway, and some serious R & R with people that are dear to me.

As a follow up to Monday’s post about my jaw, headaches, and other shenanigans that come with TMJ, I can thankfully say that I have been headache-free for 2 days now. I went to my chiropractor Monday evening and plan to see him again tomorrow which helps immensely! Thank you to my Bible study, specifically Andreas for lifting me up in prayer last night. 🙂

I read a statistic yesterday about the number of times women apologize during a day compared to men. Finding it interesting and true based on experiences, I had intentions of writing about that phenomenon for today’s post, but then found my heart needing to write about something else. {Maybe I will save it for another time.}

I wanted to write about honesty, integrity, and truly living a life in which our actions are consistent to those of our Maker. Paul couldn’t have laid the foundation for my writing any better than he did while addressing the people of Philippi about what things are truly ethical and venerable.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:8-9

Honesty and integrity, in my eyes, are lovely, pure, commendable, excellent, and most definitely worthy of praise. Talk about powerful words. To me, these words are gifts God has given us in which if we CHOOSE to fixate our thoughts, words, and actions on these things, we will be given peace. I know that to have peace in my heart is to fully be in connection with Christ, having the Holy Spirit really working in and through me, and to be obeying his commands.

But do I 100% of the time act in accordance to this? No. Do I concentrate on pure and holy things every minute of every day, or do I speak words of FULL honesty every time I speak? Sadly, I cannot answer “yes” to these questions. In other words, at times I lack integrity and live out of selfish desires. All in the name of looking good.

I was recently talking to Jordan about what integrity really looks like or how one defines it. He learned this analogy from a good friend which he kindly passed along  to me to help me better understand integrity. In summary, this is what he had to say…

Integrity is like an orange. No matter how you cut it, peel it, or squeeze it, it will ALWAYS be orange. When it comes to applying this to our lives, integrity means that no matter what the circumstances are, what pressures you may face, or how you feel, you are consistent in who you are and you don’t compromise.

A key word that sticks out to me is consistency. Being consistent means that I am the same girl at home, at work, at the grocery store, and ultimately in my relationships with ALL people. I don’t act a certain way around one person, and then change my approach with another person. This doesn’t mean only being honest when it comes to the things I am most proud of, and neglecting to fully disclose details about the not-so-proud moments in my life.

I do not know what it is, or where this stems from, but sometimes I find myself feeling like I have to be perfect all the time. Maybe perfect isn’t the right word, because I know nobody is perfect besides our Creator, we will never reach perfection, yadda yadda. However, a few times in my life, I have fallen into that trap of only opening up about the admirable or desirable times of my life, and not discussing the “flaws” until a later time.

It’s not that I have ill-intentions of never discussing certain matters, or plan to keep things from people, but rather it takes me some time to become vulnerable enough to share my weaknesses. To put it simply, I need to get swallow my pride, get over feelings of embarrassment, and just be completely honest in every single conversation I have.

Adding “fluff” or embellishing certain stories seems easy at the time, but it only causes mistrust down the road. We all have things in our lives that we are not proud of, or experiences in which we would rather not talk about. So why not open up about those, because most likely, your story will resonate with somebody and you can encourage them through their same struggles.

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. -Proverbs 12:22

An abomination to the Lord. In other words, when you and I find ourselves leaving out details or even telling little “white lies” because we think it makes us look better, the Lord is in intense aversion and loathes our words. He detests it. I don’t know about you, but this gets my attention fast.

So learn from me. If you are ashamed of something you went through, or a pattern you have gotten caught up in, be honest about that. As cliché as this may sound, our past shapes who we are today. So embrace it, talk about it, and learn from it. There is such freedom in being transparent off the bat, rather than withholding information until YOU are ready to talk about it. Guess what? God is ready for you to work through it, and growth can only happen once you do so.

This post may have brought some past dishonesty to light or made you think about some things you need to open up about. If it did, I apologize for its heaviness on your heart. On the other hand, I hope disclosing this information lifts a burden off your chest and allows you to move forward a better person.

The beautiful thing about Christ’s love for us, is that He extends such grace and forgiveness towards us. Because He does this for us, we are to do the same for others. I know I am a work in progress and the idea of spiritually growing excites me. Fixing my life on pure, noble, and admirable things is my mission.

Thank you for letting me share with you today! I am off to KC on Saturday, Dallas Sunday, and Des Moines next Wednesday so I will do my best to post sometime next week. My prayer is that you all have safe travels over the Holiday and enjoy your time with loved ones. Have a blessed weekend!

Lets all try to be more like an orange 😉

Let your light shine!

-Abby Dawn

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