We’ve been doing some remodeling, and have been amazed by the difference between what some builders say they will do, and what they actually do. They might say they’ll be here in ten minutes, when in reality it turns out being ten minutes … times four. “First thing in the morning” winds up being any time before noon. A two-week job becomes two months … and counting. When you can’t count on what someone says, words become meaningless.
We recently attended a business conference where a couple speakers did a presentation based on the book, The One Thing, by Gary Keller. One of the overhead slides was jarring. It showed a bouncing ball, with a quote from the book:
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
How many people do you know who regard their integrity with the fragility of glass? These are the individuals who say what they mean, and mean what they say. They show up when they say they will, and they do what they say they will do. Their word is their bond. If they know they’re running late, or something comes up, they call to let you know when they’ll arrive, or to reschedule. They place value on you and your time … and on the integrity of their word. They know that a person can only be trusted as much as you can trust their word.
Unfortunately, too many people are used to being lied to, too many times. Words lose their meaning in daily communications, and we find ourselves being amazed when someone actually comes through on their word. We have succumbed to a subpar way of living, in my opinion. Why trust in words that have no meaning?
I’m thankful I had a father who taught me the meaning of integrity, of saying what you mean, and doing what you say you will do, to the best of your ability. And when you fall short, you accept responsibility without placing blame, and do whatever you can to make it right.
I have been a student of biblical research for nearly 40 years, and have found it unfortunate how many people read the distrust of their own words into the Bible, which I believe is the Word of God. They regard the scriptures with little deference, as if God didn’t say what He meant, or mean what He said. His words become meaningless, in the plethora of opinions and speculation.
I’ve heard it said that God has a purpose for everything He says in the scriptures – where He says it, why He says it, how He says it, to whom He says it, and when He says it. Just imagine a world where people actually had a specific purpose for everything they said – where they said it, why they said it, how they said it, to whom they said it, and when they said it. What’s more, imagine a world where people stood behind their word, and backed it up with their actions, to the best of their ability. And when they fell short, they’d own up to it, and do their best to make it right.
Perhaps I’m a dreamer, but I’m dreaming of a world where people place value on their words, and live with integrity. I’m dreaming of a world where people read their own integrity into the Word of God … a world where people count on God to be their Provision in all things, including healing in their bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits.
I’ve seen too many times in my own life where God can be counted on … where His Word has integrity. He’s a solid rock, a sure foundation.
I encourage all to read His Word, the Bible, expecting Him to come through on His promises. He will not disappoint.