I am uncomfortably honest these days.
My mother constantly says to me, “Stop telling so much of your business on Facebook.” I am always puzzled, because I rarely share the ways in which I share here; those posts are vague and God-laden. These posts are detail rich and kinda embarrassing.
Like this one:
I am moving. And, long story short, I had devised a plan to keep my last month’s rent. We paid a hefty deposit to be here and the landlord is a “money person”; we had determined that he would figure out ways to keep our whole deposit, despite this place being in pretty good shape. Nothing major busted, it’s clean, whatever.
But down in my heart, I felt some kinda way about this plan. I mean…I was in tears almost all day. It actually ended up with my husband being a bit of a jerk about this money move we were trying to make. He did not care to understand how or why I was struggling with this when we know for facts this person might dog us on the deposit. Finally, frustrated and unbothered at the same time (in that way that Virgo men tend to get when they won’t just say, “You’re being stupid. I’m right”), he told me to figure it out and do whatever.
That afternoon I sat in the car weighing options and sifting through my angst, I began to pray to God to protect me because I felt bare and unprotected. I sat there in the car crying for what seemed like forever, and then, I heard a still small voice say, “This isn’t about his integrity; this is about your integrity.” And, as I often do, I caught a glimpse into an alternate realm of life, what would happen to my reputation-to my husband’s reputation-in ministry if I took on this unnecessary battle. How this blemish would deface my character, leading to my word from God not being an accepted word. All it would take is a few phone calls or social media posts, and we’d be crooks. This time, maybe forever.
So I paid what I was supposed to pay–minus $100 in late fees because God set the price in my spirit before I crunk up my car so that we could actually live. Late fees that I will pay because I want to owe no man but to love him. (Romans 13:8) The peace that flooded my soul when I dropped that money off? Incomparable, fam. And do you know why?
Because my integrity just leveled up.
I have lived a fractured life, full of lies and deceit and masks that I hardly ever took off. I labored against the spirit of rejection, of Jezebel, of rage. When I finally got delivered and healed and set free, I made a vow to myself that I would do all I could to stay free. That vow has been tested day in and day out. Every time I would do something shiesty, the spirit of the Lord be like, “NOPE. YOU MADE A VOW.”
The word integrity means two things:
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
- the state of being whole and undivided.
That second definition? That is a definition of God–of holiness. To be undivided, to be the same yesterday, today, and forever? That is who God is, and who we should strive to be. Every day, I shed layers of skin and sin, renewing my mind and walking after the Spirit and crucifying this flesh and tearing down strongholds and all that stuff so that I can be whole. The same in every situation. Able to abstain from the very appearance of evil. Able to walk upright. Able to be bold. Able to be a living sacrifice to the will and work of God.
As I went to go buy that money order (cuz my landlord don’t like paypal, cashapp, or electronic transfer–I don’t do checks), I told God, “Hey, Lord. I trust you. I trust that you’re gonna keep us. So I need you to show up cuz I ain’t GOT it!” And you know what? God has done exceedingly, abundantly above what I asked or thought. Because GOD IS A GOD OF INTEGRITY: God will always perform His word.
Today, I am praying with you and for you, that you stand on a firm foundation–which is Jesus Christ–and you walk in integrity: shalom and upright. In Jesus’s name. AMEN.