Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.
1 Chronicles 29:17a
I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there.
This week I had the unique opportunity to participate in a sleep lab. Since late 2006, I have been having trouble sleeping due to difficulties in breathing. After eliminating many possibilities, my doctor decided that I needed to be studied in a sleep lab.
I arrived at St.Vincent’s East to be hooked up on machines with numerous tangling wires all over me to endure for the overnight study. I don’t typically have trouble falling asleep, however, I do experience challenges staying asleep.
There’s a camera in the room so that the tech can study your sleep patterns over the course of five to six hours. It’s weird knowing that someone is watching you while you are trying to sleep. The awareness can be uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to figure out what the problem entails.
The following day I began to think about my awareness of God watching me. My awareness has increased as I have grown closer to Him, but sometimes, I do or say things that I know grieves the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we all have done things in secret thinking that no one will know. But…SOMEBODY does know, and it’s the ONE who counts! Integrity is simply when our beliefs and our lifestyle align. Are you the same person on Saturday night that you are on Sunday morning or Wednesday night in church? Are you the same person on the golf course that you are in your small group?
Check out this story I received in 2006 from one of my son’s former basketball coaches :
A man goes out to play a round of golf with his friend. Upon arrival at the golf course he receives a phone call from his friend who says that something has come up, and he cannot play golf. So he decides to play by himself.
The man is having a great game of golf and is hitting the ball extremely well. By the time he reaches the 15th green he is shooting the best round of golf he has ever played. He hit his ball within 6 feet of the hole and lines his putt up. As he begins the putt, he miss hits the ball and runs the ball by the cup 4 feet. He lines up the putt again and misses this putt also. He finally makes the third putt for a double bogey. He thinks to himself how he heard a duck in the background quack very loudly. He thinks the distraction must have caused him to miss the first putt. So he writes down a 4 on the scorecard instead of a 5. After all, he is having the best round of golf ever.
*This character may be reflecting who we are at times when no one is looking.*
I felt it was a great example of how we blame others when things go wrong (the duck), and how we sometimes do things in secret that we wouldn’t want others to know — a strong demonstration on understanding the value of integrity.
If we are the REAL DEAL…people will recognize it!
According to Pastor Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands, “The real you is what you are like in a town where no one knows you.”
Another opportunity to recognize the value of integrity occurred when my son was younger. He thought about newspapers in the newspaper bin. He asked what if someone took more than one newspaper? Someone present in the conversation indicated to Connor… that would be stealing if a person was took additional newspapers. It’s based on the honor system.
As Christians, our fruit should reflect the LIGHT OF THE WORLD–OUR SAVIOR. JESUS CHRIST is not only WHO we represent, but WHO WE ARE because HE IS IN US. We may be the only JESUS someone has the opportunity to see and experience.
As we grow and mature in Christ, we will desire to reflect HIS CHARACTER when we interact with the world. Pastor Chris spoke in his message last night that “We are not just Spirit-Born, but Spirit-Formed.” When we are Born Again we are beginning the journey of Salvation…..the process we go through from that point forward is Sanctification. When our Spirit Man overrides our Flesh Man, we are on the road to becoming Spirit-Formed. When we act according to the Spirit, we won’t have to worry about who is watching….because we are reflecting HIS GLORY!
DON’T JUST DRESS TO IMPRESS, WEAR THE WARDROBE OF THE KING!!
DEFINE THE DEITY WITHIN YOU……
THEN YOU WILL DEMONSTRATE THE REAL DEAL!