I appreciated this piece a lot.
Integrity. It is a powerful word. It is used to describe people whose private lives match their public lives, whose actions match their words, who live honorably and humbly.
Rightfully so, we long for our leaders to be filled with integrity. For more than twenty years, people have used The Perceived Leader Integrity Scale as an instrument to measure how people view their leader’s integrity. The questions in the instrument are designed to highlight what a lack of integrity looks like in the life of a leader. In the instrument, people respond, on a Likert Scale, to statements like: “My supervisor deliberately fuels conflicts among employees,” “My supervisor would blame me for his/her own mistakes,” and “My supervisor avoids coaching me because he/she wants me to fail.”
Sometimes suffering helps us see more clearly the things that really matter. If you have very little energy, try and put your energy into things that matter for eternity. Once again, nobody might see it or know. Your kids probably won’t even know how your seemingly ordinary responses and actions are actually you, pouring out your life as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). But when you respond patiently, although in your body, you feel like you are falling apart, God knows. That’s supernatural. That’s accomplishing something, and it matters friends. It might look like nothing to somebody else, but you’re storing up treasures in heaven. Your heart matters to God more than your living room. Don’t compare yourself with other moms who seem to be accomplishing so much more. Be happy for them. Bless them. They have their lot, you have yours, and God has called you both to glorify Him within the means of the abilities He has given you.
Peter Adams offers some great questions for preachers.
On the outside, I kept up the facade. I had to; I’m a winner, remember? Winners don’t feel like this. Inside, though, I felt the joy of succeeding could never outweigh the pain of living. It’s like I was on a downhill emotional spiral. Any spirituality I had dried up to zilch.
It was my sophomore year of high school, if I remember correctly.
I thought through it. Since I lived at home, I didn’t want it to be graphic. I’d choose strangulation because it seemed like the least graphic way to go out, at least for everyone else in my life.
Soon after getting married I read an article about a husband’s responsibility to love his wife. The author described a wife who is “nourished and cherished” by her husband, using words like “glowing,” “flourishing,” “satisfied,” “content.” This wife sounded quite wonderful. So did her husband. I, on the other hand, felt off—worn out and lost in the shuffle of needy children and duties at home. I loved my husband, but our marriage was far from “glowing” as we struggled with communication and unmet expectations.
So, naturally, I concluded it was all his fault.
A favorite from the archives:
Love doesn’t conceal truth, nor does it treat sin lightly. But it also doesn’t leave us wallowing in the muck and mire. And this is what I see lacking in so much of the conversation around so many issues. There are so few pleas to not lose heart. There seem to be no exhortations to think upon whatever is good and true. No appeals to consider what is honorable and just. No pleas to press into what is pure and lovely. No giving thanks for what is commendable and praiseworthy. Of all these Paul instructs us to think on, and yet publicly we spend so much of our time considering the exact opposite.
We speak with so much fire, but seem to do so with so few tears.