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.
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.
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?