Making the Right Choice

What does a life lived with integrity look like?

Having integrity means doing what we say we’ll do and doing the right thing even when it costs us something and no one would ever know if we didn’t do it.  It means being honest and not just talking a good line but living that out every day.

God tells us in Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

I’ve got to admit – there are times I really hate owning a mistake I made.  It would be so much simpler to tell a little lie about it and cover it up.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

There are other situations where I don’t feel like taking care of a responsibility or doing ‘the right thing’. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.

It seems easier to take the crooked path.

Every once in a while taking a short-cut looks very enticing instead of struggling with all the work that is going to be involved to do something the right way.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

Satan likes to tempt me by giving me free stuff at stores – things that were somehow never rung up so I didn’t pay for them. I hate the hassle of bringing these things back into the store and asking to pay for them. Satan knows I really don’t want to get back in line and then explain that I didn’t pay for this the first time. I hate the strange looks I get from employees who are wondering why I am doing this weird thing – I had it all the way out to my car without paying for it, I should be happy, right?

It’s definitely easier to take the crooked path – just put the item in my car and drive away.

But God tells me that the crooked path is dark with holes and cracks that will make me stumble and fall.  I’m kidding myself if I think people around me won’t realize that I lack integrity by sometimes choosing a crooked path. And I’m really kidding myself if I think God doesn’t know I took a crooked path.

God tells me the blessing of walking with integrity is that I will walk securely.  The path of integrity is straight and solidly built on the truth.  God’s light shines on this path and it is filled with his love, grace and security.

Each day, each choice, you and I have a decision to make about which path we’re going to take.

Please help us stay in the path of integrity, Abba Father

Soaking in Wisdom

Solomon gave us an enormous amount of wisdom in Proverbs but it’s in such small, short statements that I find it hard to make sure I’m absorbing it – not just reading it and moving on.  I want God’s Word to soak into my life – changing and transforming me.

One of the many things I like about the Chronological Daily Bible I read through every year is the proverbs are grouped by subject matter.  This helps me slow down and consider the overall message God is giving me.

For example, many proverbs give me wisdom concerning temperament and patience.  As I read them and think about them, I see these comparisons:

The fool – 

*gets annoyed quickly.

*shows their insecurities through their quick temper.

*jumps in on mean and evil schemes.

*stirs up conflict and commits many sins.

*wants to control other people.

*hasn’t learned their lesson so don’t rescue them.  You’ll just have to rescue them again.

The wise –

*respects and honors God, avoiding thoughts and actions that aren’t consistent with God’s Word.

*does not encourage conflict, calms a quarrel.

*has self control.

*does not make friends with hot-tempered people.

*does not associate with those who are easily angered.

Please help me be wise and patient, Abba Father.

Satisfied

Am I ever satisfied?

Are you?

We live in a culture where it’s very difficult to be satisfied because there is always bigger and better.  There is always more.

How do I find satisfaction when I am surrounded by all of this?

God tells me through King Solomon in Proverbs 3 how find contentment in my life.

  • Never forget what God has taught me.
  • Be loyal and kind.
  • Trust in God – be dependent on his understanding, not mine.
  • Make fulfilling God’s will for my life my goal.
  • Keep on the path God directs me to take.
  • Turn away from evil.  Respect and honor God and never get too impressed with myself.
  • Honor God with my time and treasures.
  • Accept my Father’s discipline.  He loves me and wants the best for me.
  • Ask God for wisdom – it is precious and nothing else will bring me satisfaction.
  • Hang on to my common sense and discernment – they will help make me safe and secure.
  • Encourage others.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of small things.
  • Don’t envy violent or wicked people.  At first, I would say that I would never envy violent or wicked people.  But then, I think about some people I know who have ‘gotten away’ with things that were not right but it brought them pleasure or financial gain.  Did I ever wish that was me?

That’s a great list!  It’s interesting to me that things like ‘get an education so you can get a good job and make a lot of money’ aren’t on here.

There’s nothing on this list that tells me that buying stuff and owning things are going to bring me satisfaction.

This list is all about me and God working together to grow my faith, grow my character and grow my wisdom.

Amen.  Let it be so, Abba Father.