integrity, trust, consequences

Integrity: Doing the Right Thing (and What to Do When We Mess Up)

Integrity is doing the right thing even if no one is looking. This sounds great, but not always achieved. What are we suppose to do when we mess up?



He lied to me. Out right, to my face, he lied. A wave of anger washed over me, only to leave me feeling completely heartbroken. My nine year old son lied to me.

It’s never good when an adult knocks on your door and asks if you are the mother of your child. Uh-oh. She was standing there with her daughter, with two complaints. The second complaint she shared was that my son was shooting her with a Nerf gun while she was on her bike. Apparently this made the daughter feel nervous that she would lose her balance and fall. I’m thinking, what’s the big deal, maybe you need to toughen up a bit. This is not what I said though. I said I would talk to him about it, and I did, saying that if someone doesn’t want to play that way, then he needs to be respectful of that and stop. Problem officially dealt with. Pretty much, stop playing with prissy girls. (#boymom)

It was the first complaint that made my sirens start to go off. Apparently he was “throwing around the F-word” and I don’t mean four fluffy feathers on a fiffer-feffer-feff. I didn’t doubt her since the week prior my son was asking my husband what that word meant. It was explained to him that words have meaning, and there are bad words, and that is the baddest of the bad. He was told, under no circumstance, was he to ever use that word. This of course, just confirmed that he would most definitely use that word.

The neighbor was very sorry to have to tell me this. I assured her that I appreciated being told, and that it would be addressed. My son was sent to his room while my husband and I conferred on how to handle the situation. I would give my son an opportunity to confess. He knows that if he is honest then the consequences are less. I also knew I needed to hear his side of the story, since I don’t trust a neighbor kid more than my own son. Some kids just like to be know-it-alls and cause trouble.

In his opportunity to confess, he chose to share the bit about shooting the girls with the Nerf gun. He claimed it was due to being provoked. They apparently were teasing him for playing with girls. Umm, he was playing with girls. Like I said, he needs to stop playing with prissy girls. So annoying. But I digress…

I gave him another opportunity to confess. He missed it. I point blank asked him if he was using the F-word. He told me that he and another boy were sharing bad words that they knew when my younger son walked over. My younger son asked what they were talking about, and my son just went and said the word out loud.

At this point, I didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal. My husband and I were upset, however, that he would teach this word to his younger brother. Thankfully my younger son thought the whole thing was just silly and didn’t seem intrigued by some random word. My older son, however, craves approval from others. Around adults he is charming and polite, because he gets complimented on this. Around his peers, he acts very silly and tries to impress them with bad words, apparently.

After this confession, I asked my younger son for his version of events. Whaddaya know? Turns out my son lied. Now. It. Was. On.

What actually happened was my son was trying to impress the girls, and when they told him he shouldn’t say that word, he said the word didn’t actually mean anything, and that he could say it if he wanted. Apparently he wanted, because he said it repeatedly. This was not at all what was talked about with my husband. He knew it was wrong, and chose to do it anyway.


Doing the right thing…

We all have these moments. We know we should, or should not, do something, but do the wrong thing instead. We try to explain our way out of it, making excuses instead of confessing and repenting.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4:17, ESV

When we mess up…

Trust. God longs for us to trust Him, and it grieves Him when we hide from Him. All the way back to the very beginning, God has desired to care for us. He has provided for all our needs, but we still try to take matters into our own hands. We can be honest and trust Him with the outcome.

Accept the consequences. None of us like consequences. We want to be forgiven and then get off scot free. But just like children, we will only learn if it requires something of us. As parents, we know we give consequences out of love. And this is true with God. He didn’t kick Adam and Eve out of the garden because He was angry. He kicked them out for their own protection.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

Genesis 3:22, ESV

Once Adam and Even ate the fruit, they knew sin. The Lord is holy and cannot be in relationship with sinful man. If they then ate from the tree of life, resulting in eternal life, they would then be eternally separated from Him. By denying them earthly eternal life, they were doomed to death, but with the opportunity to be re-united with Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Consequences are a blessing designed to bring us back to the One who loves us. Click To Tweet

Death is a gift, but it is not one we were designed for. We were created to live eternally. Consequences to our actions are uncomfortable, but they are a blessing designed to bring us back to the One who loves us.


Your turn…

Was there a time you knew something was wrong, but did it anyway?

Do you trust that God wants good things for you?

Has there been a consequence in your life that you have been thankful for?

 

integrity, trust, consequences

Jez Timms

Bold: Living Like Wonder Woman

We all have the ability to fight for love and goodness. We all have the ability to change the world. This post looks to a role model to find out how we can achieve this.



I have loved Wonder Woman even as a little girl. There are stories told of how, at the age of three, I would spin around as I turned into the strong beautiful woman ready to fight evil. I still have a scar on my scalp from when I, as Wonder Woman, was chasing my brother, the villain, and ran into the corner of the wall (I’ve never been super graceful).

This past summer, my husband and I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie. I was once again that little girl. I left the movie theater ready to fight evil. I was ready to fight for love.

Esther is the perfect example of a “wonder woman” in real life. She was in fact very beautiful, but it was her love for the Lord that made her radiate. When I picture Esther, I picture Wonder Woman! It may have been the 12 months of beauty treatments that got the attention of the king, but it was her character that won his favor.

Beauty may get the attention of others, but character is what will win their favor. Click To Tweet


Living like Wonder Woman…

She sought advice.

Esther 2:15-17: When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

She did what was right because it was the right thing to do

Esther 2:21- 23: In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

She used her influence to help others, rather than herself

Esther 4:13-16: Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

She was patient

Esther 5:4-8: And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

She was bold when the timing was right

Esther 7:1-6 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Esther was truly a wonder woman who I want to learn from!



Lord, I desire to be a part of your plan. I pray that I will be humble, and seek advice. I pray that I would be a woman of integrity. I pray that I will recognize the influence that I have and use it wisely and with care. I pray that I will be patient and wait upon you until it is time to act. And I pray that I will act boldly when that time has come. Amen.

 

 

Sean Brown

All scripture used is from the English Standard Version.