…As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. (Job 27: 3-5 NIV)
Recently, a friend called me for my advice on a matter. My friend, a current graduate student, explained to me that she had been assigned a partner by her teacher to do a PowerPoint project on leadership and integrity. Well, my friend took the initiative to start the project, contact her partner, and do the research. She also emailed the PowerPoint to her partner in the middle of completing the assignment with some things that were left that the partner could complete, but the partner failed to do that and my friend had to complete them herself. My friend had completed the project with very little communication and no help from her partner until the night before it had to be submitted. This time the partner told her that she was finally looking over the project. It was then the partner put her name on the project, added one quote and a paragraph, and submitted it to the teacher. The partner didn’t know that my friend had already submitted the project over to the teacher with a note saying in a nutshell that her partner did not fully communicate or help with the project. So my friend wanted to know if she had done the right thing by telling her teacher.
Later that day I received another call from my friend saying that she wished she hadn’t said anything because the partner still got credit for her work and earned an easy B. As my friend shared all of this with me, I thought and told her, “How ironic that the lesson was on integrity.”
However, this is not what solely sparked my EmpowerMoment. Whether the partner was right or wrong is not why I am writing this EM. This situation led me to remember the time God had to teach me about integrity.
Now, I am a person who is virtuous and trustworthy. I have also been told by others that I am trustworthy, loyal, honest and a person who people can trust with their lives. However, I too had to be reminded by God that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NIV)
Some years ago my church was studying and learning about revival and during this time I had to pray and ask God to search my heart for any sin I was committing knowingly or unknowingly. One of the things that God brought to me was lying on my timesheet, recording I arrived at this time or worked X amount of hours knowing it was untrue.
Yet, I felt justified because my job and my then part-time position was flexible and if I had to be in class or go downtown to drop off paperwork I could leave work with no questions asked. I felt justified because I have always struggled with tardiness, not that I can’t or haven’t been on time. I felt justified because some days I would even stay later to make up hours. I felt justified because I thought I couldn’t be the only one doing this. No matter how much I felt justified, I was still wrong. If I said I could work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., then that means I need to be there at 10 a.m. consistently, not at 12 noon whether someone is watching or NOT. I have to do the right thing whether it’s popular or NOT. I have to hold fast to my morals whether I am patted on the back or NOT. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)
My heart was heavy about this and I sincerely repented of lying and deceiving. I took for granted my job, that no one was standing over my shoulders, and that people trusted me. After God exposed my sin to me and forgave me, He wasn’t done with me. I had to confess to my boss. I did and ladies it humbled me and scared me! I was scared of the result of my confession. My boss listened, didn’t make me feel worse than I felt, was glad that I confessed and really appreciated my honesty. Later on my boss made sure the employees had more accountability with our timesheets and consistency and I think that was because of what I had done. I am relieved to say that I did not get terminated and I was more punctual than ever, but if I did run late I would make a phone call and not lie on my timesheet. I learned a lesson on integrity and I have been on my job now for about 11 years.
Thank You for Your righteousness, holiness and justness. Thank You for Your mercy and unfailing love too. Thank You for exposing some things in my life so that I can have better character and unadulterated faith. Thank You for Your forgiveness and giving me humility to confess my sins. Help me to exude Christ-like character each day no matter the cost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to live a life worthy of your calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1). Watch for creeping sin because sin not only displeases God but also blinds your perception of things. Exude Godly character whether someone is looking or not. Hold fast to your faith and your morals. Do not compromise your integrity for anyone including yourself!
Ladies, has God ever had to check your integrity? How did you recover? Share your story with us.
Read a Related EmpowerMoment: Can God Trust You?
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus