Our theme for this month: “Character and Integrity”
Our Bible verse for today: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “A little less talk and a little more action, please”
A couple of days ago a lady told me about the problems she had with a young man she had hired to do some work for her. On the morning he was supposed to start the job he didn’t show up, and he didn’t call either. Finally, the lady called him and asked him why he didn’t come as he had promised. He replied that something else came up but that he would be there the next day. The next day it was the same thing, he didn’t show up and he didn’t call, so she called him again and asked why. This time his answer was that he had forgotten but that he would definitely be there the next day. But the next day he didn’t show up again. This time she called him and fired him. But in good motherly fashion she also gave him a little lecture about keeping his word and doing what he promised to do – and also about having the courtesy to at least call if for some reason he cannot keep his commitment.
As I listened to that story, I thought of the contrasting example set by a friend of mine, a good Christian man, who is a real stickler for keeping his word. If he tells you he is going to do something you can count on him to do it, and to do it when he said he would. He is a man of integrity and he keeps his word. If he says he’s going to do something he does it no matter what – even if he doesn’t feel like it and even if it’s inconvenient.
Yesterday’s devotional was about telling the truth. Today’s topic is directly connected to truth-telling because if you don’t follow through and actually do what you said you would do, you really haven’t told the truth. Words are cheap. It’s your actions that matter. If you say you’re going to do something but then you don’t do it, you have failed to keep your commitment. That’s not too different from lying. Oh, perhaps you really did mean it when you said it, but if you don’t follow through on it, then in the end your words were not true.
As Christians we have to be men and women of integrity, men and women whose word means something. People should know that if we promise to do something, we will in fact do it, and to the greatest extent possible we will do it when we promised to do it. And if keeping our word turns out to be costly to us? No matter, we will keep it anyway because we are men and women of character and integrity who do what we say we are going to do and who keep our commitments.
Some people need to hear this: A little less talk and a little more action, please.