Integrity : living in honesty by clinging to identity | The Speckled Goat: Integrity : living in honesty by clinging to identity


Integrity : living in honesty by clinging to identity

Christian devotion identity in Christ Jesus shapes who we are lies and honesty

The headlights cut through the dark as we headed home. It was late, but that was okay.

I was still bubbling from the evening.

Energized by the conversation, my extroverted, albeit somewhat socially awkward, self was far from tired, even though it was way past my bedtime. I’d told a funny story at our couples small group, and it brought lots of laughter. Making people laugh, people I didn’t know well, brought me so much happiness. I flung out another silly anecdote, and that one hit home with the group, too.

Now, on the way home, I smiled at the memory of the evening. A successful night.

My husband drove quietly next to me, and in the light of a passing car, I saw his expression. He was unhappy.

But why? We’d just had so much fun! What could he possibly be upset about?

“What’s wrong?” I asked, almost put out that he was spoiling a nice night.

He recounted one of the funny stories I’d told, adding, “But I didn’t say that. You lied. And it wasn’t nearly that dramatic. Why did you lie about it?”

I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. - Matthew 5:34-37

Of course, it’s important not to break a promise, or to swear that something is true when it really isn’t. Lying under oath is not only wrong, it’s criminal. But Jesus cares less about my courtroom behavior or the status of my pinky promises.

Jesus is interested in my heart. An honest heart lives a lifestyle of truth. If I’m a person of integrity, I never have to swear that something is true. My yes means yes, my no means no. Promises and pledges are unnecessary.

But this brings up the next question—

how do I live in honesty?

Where do my lies, my over-exaggeration, my truth stretching come from, anyway?

Fear, stemming from lack of identity, is the cause of a lot of my lies.

For example, let’s look at my storytelling. While stretching the truth a bit (or a little more than a bit) to make people laugh may not seem like that big of a deal, it actually says a lot about the person I think I am.

By embellishing the story, I was living as if…

My life isn’t interesting enough just as it is
Being accepted and pleasing people is more important than the truth
My experiences need to entertain or engage to be worthwhile

Of course, none of those things is true. And they all pop up when I lose sight of my true identity.

When I ask myself my orienting questions, things get clearer.

Who am I? 

Where do I live?

No matter what other people think of me, I am loved and valued by God.
God thinks my life is interesting enough to include it in His plan for His Kingdom.

That's who I really am. Valued, important, interesting, included-- all because of what Christ did for me.

The point of my life isn’t to gain funny stories; it’s to walk with God wherever He may lead. And sometimes, there’s nothing entertaining about it. Sometimes, it’s pretty hard. Even in the hard stuff, I live securely in His Kingdom, and I'm one in whom Christ dwells.

Related Posts:

fear and identity in christ devotion  in christ our true identity and what that means devotion

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  1. I think on the word integrity a lot. My daughter loves to weave a good tale (she comes by it honestly) but sometimes the stories she tells are outright lies. We've had to discuss with her the importance of our word. It IS more important than the entertainment factor.

  2. Integrity is a good thing. I have trouble with the "good lie" vs. "bad lie" question. For example! When my husband went to rehab and I moved to a new town, people would ask if I was married. I would say yes. They asked where my husband was, I would say he was waiting on immigration papers (true- I moved home to Canada from the USA where we were living). At this point, I would try to get out of the conversation because the truth was, I moved because he went to rehab for a year. Then they would ask the dreaded, "Does he come up here to see you often?". Obviously, I could get through the conversation saying very little and not telling much but I WANTED to be honest. Lying sucks. Even when it was "a good lie". I told someone the truth once to see how that would go and you should of seen their face! Hahaha My point of the story is, sometimes people prefer to hear the lie. Lying is a people-pleasing action. Liked your post :D

  3. The things that we do, the things that happen when we lose sight of who we are in our Father is crazy isn't it!! My telling sign that I have lost sight of who I am in Him is that I become SO negative! I mean, the worst haha It takes me a couple days and then I realize I'm making everyone around me miserable too. That's when I'm like "Wait a minute, I need to refresh myself in His promises!"

  4. I have been there. I am the geeky one whom God gave a sense of humor to but wasn't so sure it was a good thing and would try too hard in a crowd, thereby regretting later on that I had over dramatized situations merely so I could feel as if I had something of use to say or make one laugh. I think whatever the good is , the enemy always wants to twist it. If I can only let Him lead and as you said know I am enough without embellishing it. And also learning how to give grace to myself instead, helps to prevent stunted growth. When I am too hard on myself it actually has an adverse reaction...

    Thanks for your openness today~ Your neighbor @ #CoffeeandJesus

  5. Thanks for linking up this week with #JesusandCoffee and for sharing your heart with us a little. Knowing who I am in Christ is the most empowering step I could ever take in strengthening my integrity in this life!

  6. Oh goodness—this packs a punch! It's so easy to embellish/ exaggerate our words (spoken and written... uh oh!) to gain likes/ friends/ social standing/ attention etc. SO, SO easy. But doing and saying the right thing, being totally integrous is what we are called to do—thanks for reminding us of that! We so often think of integrity in the major aspects of life, but telling a tall story is something we can all relate to! Stopping by from #TellHisStory Blessings to you!

  7. This is so easy to do! The need to be more and do more and perform more seems to be ever present in my life as well. That old sin of pride, really that's what it is! Thanks for the reminder to be what God wants me to be, not what others want me to be!

    Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Wind-Down party!

    Nicole =)