Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Daniel 6: 3-4 (NIV)

Here you go. I have a challenge for you and me to do beginning today and for the rest of this week:

 Always keep your word, “even when it hurts.” Psalm 15:4

What do you think?

Do you think there’s a good chance you’ll succeed?

I mean in every second of every moment of every hour of every day this week. How about when you make that oft made comment—“I’ll be right there.” Or when you assure someone else—“I promise I won’t say anything.” Or how about when people are relying on you to put the team or the organization first? Can you be counted on then to keep their trust as a part of the team and lift each other up, rather than going against your commitment by pushing your own agenda to your own advantage?

I’m rooting for you, and for me, too. What do you think? I wonder if we can do it.

In his book, which is compilation of quotations, “Inspiring Quotations,” Albert Wells, Sr. shares this sobering quote:

Honesty was always rare…Blaise Pascal said he didn’t expect to meet three honest men in a century. The Institute of Behavior Motivation has found that ninety-seven out of one hundred people tell lies—and they do it about one thousand times a year.”

And against that backdrop the challenge—

Always keep your word, “even when it hurts.”

Three men built that core value (and many other things) into my life.

Lynda’s Dad, who despite having gone on to his heavenly reward years ago, to this day positively impacts and influences the decisions and direction of my days. And then there are two Federal Judges I was privileged to clerk for following graduation from law school—Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges and Judge William Stafford.

All three men taught me the virtue of keeping your word and living with absolute integrity, not only with their words to me, but even more so by the example of how they lived every moment of their lives.

They lived a life that could be counted upon by others. They lived a life marked by always doing the right thing even when they were all alone. They lived a life of keeping their word and standing up for others. As a result, others around them came to count on the fact that they could be trusted and that their word could be taken as something to rely on. Others, too, through the years came to a place where they could count on them. And they could—always.

Integrity. Keeping your word.

When it is present in our lives it touches every area of our lives and the lives and world around us for good. It builds lives. It builds institutions, churches and other organizations. It honors God. The world is a better place.

When it is not present—well just pick up the morning paper or turn on the radio or TV, if you want to see the aftermath of lives lived without integrity. When integrity is not present lives and relationships are destroyed. When integrity is not present, it destroys churches, institutions and organizations. It dishonors God. The world is less.

Always keep your word, “even when it hurts.”

How are you doing so far?

May God strengthen you and me this week so as to live lives of integrity.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.