I think it’s important to take time to examine our lives from time to time and one of the things I like to stop to ask myself is, “Are you treating others the way that you want to be treated?” It’s the Golden Rule, of course and today I want to talk about integrity and I think there are three important things we need to see.
First, we have all faced times in our lives when we are tempted to bend the facts or not tell the truth. Most of the time, this happens when you’re looking for a loophole because you’re afraid you may not get what you want. You may be afraid your ego will get bruised or that you might actually get hurt, but it’s usually fear that drives us to bend the facts and avoid telling the truth. When this happens, things just get worse and relationships are usually affected.
Second, I’d like to ask each of you reading this to make a commitment to embrace your best self! In order to do this, you have to get honest with yourself. Now, I know whenever I say this, you might think it means that you have to confront all of the bad things you’ve ever done, but I’m not saying that at all. Rather, I’m encouraging you to think back through all the times you have lived the way you feel God called you to live. Remember those times you were compassionate and blessed somebody’s life or times when you were generous. Then, I want you to make a list of the characteristics you believe God has given you to bless others. Once you have that list, you will have a pretty clear picture of your best self! Jesus said the greatest commandment, you need to love the Lord your God with your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Now, we always think about loving God and loving our neighbor; so often what we don’t always think about loving our self. But that’s just as important. If you love God and you love your neighbor, you have to also love yourself and to do this, you have to reconnect with the best version of YOU!
Third, when you and I decide to embrace our best self, I believe compassion starts to flow. It’s one of the strange things. I really do believe you and I are created as compassionate creatures, people who want to bless life, who want to help others. It’s when we’re afraid we won’t get what we want or we won’t be happy that we start looking for loopholes, twisting the truth and things get all messed up! When you come back and embrace your best self I believe you naturally start asking, am I treating others the way I want to be treated? It happens because that’s how we are made by our Creator. Not only will this change your relationship with others, it will also change your relationship with God. On top of that, you get an intrinsic reward that you cannot obtain any other way. It makes you feel good about who you are; it brings a joy to your soul because you’re living up to the best version of yourself. It’s almost as if Jesus is whispering in our ears to keep us on track, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”