Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Choosing Integrity - Martin Wiles

I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. Psalm 101:2 NLT

I didn’t have to, but I chose to.

The kids were small, the summer was hot, and my wife and I wanted to get them a small swimming pool. So I made a trip to Walmart. Choosing the smallest one, I made my way to the checkout, paid, and took it home. When I unloaded my purchase, I discovered I’d picked up two pools. Without thinking, I took the one I hadn’t paid for back to the store.

“Ma’am, I picked up two pools by mistake,” I said to the sales associate.

“Okay, just put it over there,” she said, pointing to an empty spot.

Not the response I expected. I didn’t anticipate she’d tell me to keep it, but I did think she’d at least say thank you for my honesty—or tell me how rarely something like what I was doing happens. Nothing. Integrity must not mean much in this store, I thought as I walked out.

I received a similar response when I bought a briefcase from another major retailer. Picking the cheaper one, I paid for it, walked to the car, and unpacked my treasure—only to discover I’d accidentally picked up the more expensive one but had been charged for the cheaper one. My lucky day, I thought.

My conscience wouldn’t let me keep it. I ambled back into the store and told the associate what had happened. But instead of saying, “Thank you,” or “Don’t worry about it,” she made me pay the difference—and didn’t thank me for being honest.

The psalmist pledged to live a life of integrity at home—and everywhere else. He would do the right thing when everyone looked or when no one looked. Not an easy thing to do—especially if I expect a reward every time I show integrity. In a world where many don’t appreciate or acknowledge it, I’ll be disappointed.

Demonstrating integrity isn’t about the reward; it’s about doing the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do—and it pleases God. That’s why He gives us a conscience to bother us when we’ve strayed off track. When filled with God’s directives, my conscience will guide me to right actions. God then enhances our ability to make the right move by empowering us with His indwelling Spirit.

Choose integrity. You’ll never regret you did.

Prayer: Father, give us the power to make the right choices.

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