Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


I’ve been reminded this week about the importance of integrity and how we can sometimes question one’s integrity without knowing all the facts. It isn’t as simple or cut and dried as it seems. When we have set a certain standard or say we live by a certain set of standards, morals and values, people watch us to see if we actually live by those. When we are in a place of leadership and expect those around us to live by a certain set of standards, morals and values, then we must live by them as well. It can’t be the old “do as I say, not as I do.” If not, we are seen as lacking integrity, being dishonest or hypocritical - not that everyone lives up to all of those standards, morals, and values all of the time because we are human and we do make mistakes.

When we are the one expecting someone (who has said they agree to live by those standards, morals and values) to live by them and they do not, then their integrity is jeopardized. We can become disillusioned because we are disappointed, mad, let down or any other variety of feelings and emotions in that person. We tend not to trust them as much or believe them when they say something. We question their integrity and honesty.

What happens when we are the one who has been called in to question and those accusing don’t have all the facts or know all the circumstances? What happens when someone jumps to conclusions or judges someone based on what they see or think they know? What happens when, based on that limited information, we are accused of something or judged because they didn’t check out the facts? We get hurt. We turn away and lose trust in that person because they didn’t bother to come to us and make sure they had the facts. When you have been accused of something because someone did not have all the facts, they have questioned your integrity.

There are probably a lot of ways to handle it - some being wrong and some being right. But we want to vindicate ourselves when we have been unjustly accused or judged. We want to defend our integrity and stand up for ourselves. We can do that in a kind manner pointing out the facts or we can be defensive and down right nasty. I have to admit my first reaction is sometimes the second choice. But after I calm down and pray about it and ask God what He wants me to do,  then I go with the first choice. What that person chooses to do with all of the information when they receive it and understand it is up to them. As long as we have responded kindly and graciously we have to leave the rest up to them.

What if we are the one doing the accusing or judging - when we didn’t have all the information or all the facts and we went to someone and accused them of something? When we do have all of the information and someone has responded graciously to us, do we graciously apologize and thank that person? Do we choose to take the nasty road and get defensive ourselves and choose not to believe what we have been presented? Do we choose not to see things in a different light?

It’s never easy when someone questions our integrity and it’s not so easy to admit when we’ve been wrong. No matter what side of the issue we find ourselves on, we need to handle it with grace and forgiveness.


“But You O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”  Psalm 86:15


Have a great day in the Lord!