When I was about 12 years old, my friend and I went to the movies on our own for the first time. I was so excited to have this sense of freedom, yet with newfound freedom ironically came responsibility. My friend and I giddily sat down with our snacks in hand. The previews rolled and then came the main event. We enjoyed the popcorn and decided it would be fun to “share” with those around us. Thus, we threw the popcorn at the guests in front of us. This continued for a while until one of the workers came in and said if we didn’t stop that we would have to leave. Ooof. Even at a young age, I hated to be confronted like that. My friend’s mom (who drove us) quickly found out after the movie and that made for a very quiet ride home. My parents asked me how the movie went and I lied and said, “good” like nothing had happened.
Now, you may be asking what this has to do with integrity. Well, I was twelve when this happened and chose to not tell my parents of this disobedient act. It wasn’t very bad, and surely wouldn’t have got me in much trouble at that point, but it was always on my mind. I was embarrassed to tell them and worried they would be mad.
Years passed and this silly little thing plagued my mind whenever I went to the movies. It wasn’t until I graduated High School that I finally decided to tell my parents. How sad?!? They laughed at me and didn’t accuse me or shame me for the time it took for me to come clean. How much sweeter would it have been if I had just told them right away?
Our world is in dire need of people to live with integrity and the Bible speaks directly to us in how to live in such a way.
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
1 Peter 3:16
Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Living with the guilt of a lie told or an unaddressed conflict is not worth it. We need to press through the awkward confrontation and make amends to live with integrity!