Integrity is usually explained as being that thing you do when nobody is looking. But that’s just one dimension of it. It’s just as much a decision to be exactly who you are no matter who is watching. I’m not talking about pushing the limits of selfishness. I suggesting a life in the scrutiny of honesty.
It’s a conscious decision to be undivided. An ever evolving, multi-dimensional sense of being both whole and open.
A person who lets someone think things that are untrue about them is lacking the other side, or dimension, of integrity. People can turn you into something you’re not. Better or worse is a matter of opinion and we nestle into the good opinions of others even if they’re not based on truth. There’s a payout in being approved. False pretenses aside, it feels good to not be questioned. A moral chameleon who can stand for nothing.
There is no right side when we’re all wrong. There is no reason to hide behind something for fear of disapproval. There is freedom in honesty. You can leave your doors unlocked and know that there are no surprises awaiting a dropper by. Not because you’re flawless, but because you’re honest.
Are you scrubbing the outside of your life when your inside is dirty? If not and you’re merely ‘different’ than the norm, then stop hiding who you are. We need more different. Life aches for authenticity in all its flawed glory.
Authentic lives serve as inspiration and the freedom to be wrong upgrades the whole system.
The freedom to be wrong gives opportunity to work out kinks that would never have the chance otherwise.
Terrified of being judged for falling on your face when you try out your wings. You live in chains and never work out your glitches. You’d rather stay in your package than risk living.
‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ -Matthew 25:24-25
The One who holds you together never asked you to be safe, He asked you to trust Him. Playing it safe is worthless to Him.
The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?’ -Matthew 25:26
Stop being so afraid. You have yourself so wound up that you don’t resemble anything near free and full of grace. You’re an unopened doll. Accessories fastened down with rubber bands and hair sewn to the inside of a box decorated with a fake version of fabulous. A promise never kept. A pioneer playing the role of settler.
In trying to appear whatever your immediate culture deems ‘right’, you’ve divided yourself and are living in a prison of public approval. If there is a point when all of our secrets are told, then go ahead and get it over with now. Pull your good intentions out and see how they hold up in the sun.
I’ll tell you from experience, a doll whose head has been pulled off a time or two is more useful than a doll who has never been through the hell of losing her head. We all go through trouble and in those times, we look for someone who has been there. Pristine and poised is worthless to the hand sticking up out of the swamp. How can you tell someone their life can be put back together if you don’t bare your own scars from the ripping?
Live out in the open. Go through the hell of it. It’s how you find out who you really are.
I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! -2 Corinthians 6:11-13
There is a safety net of grace under you at all times. It’s not for selfish living, it’s for honest living. If you’re honest, you’ll need it and we’ll see it. Try to get your head back on straight. Then crawl over to the edge and climb the ladder again.