Wednesday, August 9, 2017

how would you define integrity?


in life, you have to give every decision your best effort, or you will fall short. Aim high and you'll make it over every hurdle. True fact.


Integrity.

 How would you define it?

As I wrote about a few posts back, it IS about keeping your word. It IS about saying you will commit to doing something and then, following through. It is not doing something in a haphazard fashion, thinking that no one will notice. Believe me, people notice.

I had a painting job to do on my own garage, which was noticed by a passer-by, who informed me that she had a job for me if I was willing. I agreed. The job was painting her own garage trim as well as the trim on a rental house she owned. As I painted the trim on her garage, her husband was out there, observing my work with his own microscope. Every tiny little splatter, he would frown and when a couple splatters fell onto his brand new concrete job, I apologized as the two of us cleaned it up. When I was finished, I stood back and admired my work. It was done. It was good.

On to the rental house they owned. The wood that was to be painted on both the windows as well as trim was old, rotted away and as I scraped the paint off, chunks of wood came off too. I alerted them and they had the trim replaced with brand new wood. Ahhhh... bliss. I gave the new trim three coats of paint, to ensure that it was thoroughly sealed and that it would last a long time. I gave that job my best ability, just as I had their own garage.

When it was time to settle up on the payment, the home owner was less than pleased at my charges. I reminded them that it was what we had agreed on in both time as well as cost. I had done the job in the four hours that I estimated, yet they were unhappy. "Why did it take you so long to do the rental house?" I was quizzed. I replied that I did the exact same effort on that house as I did their own. "You know, it WAS just a RENTAL!" I was reminded.

I blinked. So...because it was rented out, the folks living there couldn't have the same effort to admire perfection as the home owner did? I shook my head in sadness.

"You reap what you sow." We are reminded of this a few times in the Bible. I believe in giving 100% in everything I do. Throughout my life, I have been hurt a time or three because of that philosophy, but I would not hesitate to do it again--and again if need be.

Why is second best considered "good enough?"

When I alerted the homeowner that I could not even complete the job due to rotting wood, she gave me a look of....what, I cannot define, but in my heart I knew that yes, I could have slopped on some paint and, from a distance, it would have been "enough," for maybe one more year. Up close though, that was a different matter. Up close, the scrutiny of rotting wood would have been obvious. Eventually that old wood would have needed a replacement, so why not do the job right the first time?

How about you? Have you ever been asked to just give anything you do a gloss-over? "It's good enough." Would you do that at work? How about with your friends? In your marriage? What would our world be like had God did that during the Creation? "And God look at all he had done and said, "it is good..." (Genesis 1:31).

With God, it is never "enough" to just do a shoddy job. Look all the way back to the story of Cain and Abel. God was pleased with Abel for the sacrifices Abel offered up. With Cain, not so much. (Genesis 4:8). The same held true in the parable Jesus gave of the man, the rich fool, he was called, whose barns became too small for his harvests that he stored up, so he built HIMSELF bigger barns. He then sat back and enjoyed the fruits of HIS labor, forgetting all about the offering that should have also been offered up to God. And God was displeased. (Luke 12:16-21).

In everything, give it your BEST shot. Not half done, not even "sort of... maybe... kind of...well, maybe tomorrow" effort. God knows what lies within our hearts. You may plead ignorant, but God also blessed each of us with choices. Choices to do it right---or wrong.

Put it this way, would you appreciate it if someone gave you a shoddy, half done effort? Then why do it yourself to another?

Golden Rule: "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you."

 May you have a blessed day.