Sunday, September 14, 2008

Standing up for Your Integrity

This week, my inspiration is the movie Training Day. In the movie, it's Jake Hoyt's first day on the job, and he is under a lot of pressure to perform. He's got a wife and child to support, and he's got ambitions of one day becoming a detective. With these things swirling in his mind, Hoyt easily falls prey to exploits of his crooked cop boss Alonzo Harris.

It was disturbing to see the ease with which Harris could make Hoyt drop his standards and do things that were unlawful such as smoke PCP, drink on the job and aid in the robbery drug dealers and their families. It prompted the questions, would I be able to uphold my standards on the job if I was the one trying to get my foot in the door? Would I be able to fight off the "fitting in" bug? Would I be able to say "no" to my boss, a towering male with the power to promote, demote, or even fire me?

I think if we be real with ourselves as single, business-minded women, the answers to these questions would be no. It's not in the business culture to do so. The career-building culture gives us the OK to do whatever you have to do to get to the top. However, when we comprise, even a little, we end up having a hard time keeping the line drawn like Hoyt, who had to fight himself out of a real sticky situation.

So what does the Bible have to say about this? "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6 v 14, 15. So, as Christians, we are encouraged to stand tall and protect our integrity. We can do this by using the whole armor of God. This figurative clothing gives us every thing we need to stand for our standards:

-Belt of Truth: The truth should be used to uphold everything in our lives just like a belt holds up our outfits.
-Breastplate of Righteousness: The breastplate protects our chest where our hearts are. Having our minds set on righteousness,(those things that are right and just)protects our heart and our feelings.
-Shoes of Peace: Always walk away from the problem and walk towards peace.
-Shield of Faith: Having faith in Jesus helps us to stay true to the standards He has laid out for us and block out the lies.
-Helmet of Salvation: By staying mindful of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us, we won't even entertain opposing thoughts.

During Your Lunch Time, Read: Ephesians 6 v 10-18

After Reading, Meditate on This: Looking at my own track record, have I stood fast on my beliefs, morals, and standards? How can I do a better job of standing up for my integrity using the qualities in Ephesians?

If you have read this and you do not have a personal relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son, you're first stand should be a relationship with Christ. He is the one who picks us up from out of our sticky situations and gives us a renewed sense of integrity.

How? Romans 5 v 6 says, "While we were yet stuck in sin, Christ died for the ungodly." Verse 11 goes on to say, "We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." So, through Jesus's sacrifice on the cross, we have the power to stand up and get away from old bad habits. Then we are also reconciled to Christ as though we never messed up in the first place!

That's a great deal, and that deal can be yours today. Just get in a quiet spot and pray this prayer: God, I am sinner who has messed up in the past. But I know that Your son died to wipe the slate clean and reconcile us together. I would now like to exchange my old life for one that is pleasing in Your sight. I accept Your son, Jesus Christ, as the pathway to that life, and I ask You for full forgiveness. Thank you in the name of Jesus, Amen

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