Monday, August 29, 2011

Do The Right Thing

Almost a year has passed. I really meant to write the book review last October. Somehow, I never got to it. But I’m re-reading the book so I can follow through on what I said I’d do.

Integrity. According to my dictionary, “Rigid adherence to a code or standard of values.” I like the way pastor, and author friend, Warren Baldwin, defines it in his book, Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs, “…the internal commitment to do the right thing under any circumstance.” Over and over, the book of Proverbs speaks of this character quality as something to be highly valued:

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3; KJV)

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1)

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

In today’s society, it’s not always easy to do the right thing. Especially when the price tag is high. It was no different thousands of years ago in Joshua’s day. Shortly after the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they came face to face with a challenging situation.

With the Lord’s help, they had soundly defeated the cities of Jericho and Ai. They were prepared to move forward and take the next city. But wait a minute – it appeared as if people were approaching them on the horizon. A closer look confirmed their suspicions. A number of shabbily clothed men on donkeys entered their camp. This was strange…

Joshua and the men of Israel agreed to listen to what these visitors had to say. “We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us,” (Joshua 9:6b). After further conversation, their story seemed to check out, and they HAD agreed to be Israel’s servants. What could possibly be the harm in letting these people live? The Israelites could actually benefit from having slaves. So Joshua approved the treaty, making peace with them and allowing them to live. But he made one big mistake - he forgot to bring the matter before the Lord.

It didn’t take long before Joshua discovered that the travelers were actually from neighboring Gibeon. They had lied about who they were and where they were from, because they feared for their lives. They had heard that the God of the Israelites had commanded Joshua to destroy the inhabitants of the land – so they came up with a plan that could potentially save their lives. And it worked. Now, Joshua had a difficult decision to make. Many of the Israelites were angry that he had made the treaty, and wanted to kill these imposters. Should he go back on his word?

Joshua kept his word. He would endure whatever consequences followed. He and his men displayed integrity, “We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them,” (Joshua 9: 19-20).

God values integrity. It may not be easy, but keeping my word is important. It just may point someone to the Savior!

Is there a commitment you’ve made that you’ve failed to follow through on? What step will you take today to keep your word?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for reminding me of the importance of integrity. Forgive me for the times I’ve not followed through with the things I said I’d do. Help me to be willing to keep my word, even when it’s difficult. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. I have made a commitment to exercise more and i have failed...really failed at sticking to that commitment, but i try to remember to give my self credit for the other small improvements i have made in my life. Today i choose to pay attention to the positive things in my life and not focus on the setbacks! Great post!!!

  2. I think there are many things throughout my walk with the Lord that I've failed to stay committed to. I'm thankful for His mercy that puts me back on the path, His grace that forgives me, and His strength to help me re-commit.

    Integrity is tough. We've been drilling it into our kids, not only by the Word, but by being an example. Integrity, acting the same way when no one else is around. That's what we share with our kids.

    Excellent post, as always! Uplifting and a great reminder to do the right thing!

  3. Integrity is hard to maintain at a high level, and now you've got me thinking. It's a good thing God loves me even when I fall short.

  4. Excellent discussion of integrity and commitment! And thank you for plugging Roaring Lions!

  5. KC - Thanks for your honesty! I always remember what Miss Stacey, on Anne of Green Gables, said - "Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes!" And there's always the opportunity to follow through on our commitments.

    As far as your exercise is concerned, just concentrate on today. Start with a small goal - walk for 15 minutes. That way you can achieve your goal and build on past success tomorrow! I know you can do it!! Have a blessed week, my friend!:)

  6. Jessica - Good to see you! I'm sure we'd be fooling ourselves if we thought we were following through on every commitment we've made. It made a big impact on me when I read that the Lord would rather that we didn't make a commitment, than to break our word. I know I need to be more careful with my words. And follow through when I DO make a commitment!

    Love your insight: "I'm thankful for His mercy that puts me back on the path, His grace that forgives me, and His strength to help me re-commit." Great to hear that you're modeling this quality before your kids! I know God will bless you for your efforts!

  7. Terra - Thanks for stopping by! Integrity IS hard to maintain at a high level. I believe that's why it's so important to carefully think through what we commit to...I'm learning that when I've committed to something, it's important to follow through! Have a super blessed week!

  8. Warren - Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate your kind words about this post. I've thoroughly enjoying your book and have been challenged by the passages in Proverbs. Have a blessed week!

  9. Hi Maria -

    It's so much better not to make a commitment than to go back on one. I'd rather say, "I can't do that now, but I'll consider it when things slow down."

    I think we often have good intentions, but over commit.


  10. Oh this is so needed in the Body of Christ!: )

    Such a great article, and it really seems there truly is a famine when it comes to just plain ol' fashioned integrity. It ought not be but sometimes I wonder if it's not a sign of the times...I have four daughters ages 17 to 28 and they are single waiting for God's best. My husband and I are simply amazed sometimes by what those who call themselves Christians do and do not do, and that even goes for my fellow homeschool moms unfortunately, we are just flabbergasted.

    May we all bring things before the Lord's throne and ask Him to bless His plans instead of us telling God what to do and asking Him to bless our plans.

    Bless you! You are just adorable. Count me in as a future reader of your blog! Praise the Lord for sisters in Christ. ~Amelia

  11. Hi Maria,
    I am so glad to have joined your amazing blog,
    Life Lessons.
    Every post is something new to learn, great food for thoughts to nourish our souls.
    Thank you, Maria for sharing your talents with the world!! I am your faithful reader.
    Thanks for visiting my poetry corner!!
    God keeps blessing you with much wisdom!!
    I've still got some issues with blogger, so I could only post under the anonymous mode.
    Anyway, I am Starry Dawn.
    Blessings in God's Garden,
    Poet Starry Dawn.

  12. Susan - You're right about over-commitment. So easy to do. And difficult to back-pedal once you're in over your head! I'm always reminded of the foolish vow made by Jephthah, regarding his daughter. Her life could have been spared had he not made such a foolish commitment. Keeping one's word was taken a lot more seriously in those days - yet even today I know God still holds us accountable for what comes out of our mouths!

    Have a wonderful week. God bless, my friend!

  13. Amelia - Welcome to Life Lessons! It's always such an honor to have people stop by and leave comments. I appreciate your words of wisdom. Congratulations on raising children who value integrity!

    Your words ring so true: "May we all bring things before the Lord's throne and ask Him to bless His plans instead of us telling God what to do and asking Him to bless our plans."

    Have a beautiful week! God bless you and yours!:)

  14. Starry Dawn - So good to see you! Thanks so much for your sweet words of encouragement! I look forward to getting by your site today. God bless you richly as you write poetry for Him!!

    *I had the same problem with Blogger a while back. I use a different browser now, and that seemed to take care of the problem! Hope that helps you, too! Have a great long weekend! :)

  15. I'm sitting here smiling because I had a discussion with an author a couple of months ago in which she asked me to review her book. I finished the book recently but have not yet reviewed it.

    Presently, I have one child about to start preschool and another who has taken one giant and stubborn step back in terms of potty training. But I know that I must carve out whatever time I need to and get the review done because it's what I said I would do. In the end, I will stand alone before my Maker and give an accounting of myself with no ability to point to excuses. If that's not incentive to do the right thing no matter the circumstances, I don't know what is!

    Maintaining integrity is always the right choice in the long run, and leads to emotional peace. And who doesn't want to walk toward that place? :-)

    Thank you for your post. Happy reading and reviewing!

  16. "God values integrity. It may not be easy, but keeping my word is important. It just may point someone to the Savior!" I love this. It's not always easy, but it is always important!