Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say
Integrity, someones true character, being true to yourself and honest with others.
I believe integrity is one of the most important values because it overflows into every aspect of life. It truly dictates how you live out your life on a daily basis. The people I value most in life are the ones who walk the walk and talk the talk, they say what they mean and they mean what they say. You hear the same story from their mouth that they told someone else.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of us can agree... at times it is hard to find a genuine and real person who's integrity is unwavering. Instead of worrying about other's integrity, let's look at how we can lead by example and carry our values and integrity throughout our lives. Often, living up to our fullest potential, with the utmost positive attitude and character can be just what others need to witness to better themselves. Our Integrity is mirrored in the relationships around us, whether that be family, friends, significant others or colleagues.
Let's talk about friendships. I can't stress enough the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who act as a positive influence in what they say and what they do. It is easy to get sucked into negativity or gossip when surrounded by the wrong people. A great verse in 1 Corinthians 15:33 says it best, "Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals." I've come to a realization, quality > quantity. Throughout the years my time continues to be more and more valuable to me. Which makes me think why...why spend it with people that drain your energy, that don't have your best interest in mind, and lack consistently? There are plenty of people in my life that I don't get to see as often as I would like, that are servant leaders, incredible role models and down right genuine and positive. Something my mom and I like to refer to as the givers and the takers. There are givers in this world, that always give 100% of themselves to projects, their family, friends, the community. Then there are takers who constantly suck the energy from the givers. The world could use some more givers, so let's be more like the givers. Giving of our time, talents and treasures. Living out Christ's love in our daily lives. Making sure our words and actions align. Who knows, maybe we will inspire others to do the same.
When it comes to integrity in a family setting, it is so important parents are instilling this in their children. It is not always enough to tell them, it must be shown through actions. It is so much easier to tell someone else to check themselves, but how about making sure we are a reflection of what we preach. Lets take children for example, they are like sponges and if our actions aren't matching our words...we are not doing our job of being role models for them. Not to say, we are living on the straight and narrow path 24/7, it is just not possible, but we should continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves and to lead from a place of pure intentions. That's why open communication is pivotal in all relationships. Just because there may have been a time we didn't follow through with something, or made a bad judgment doesn't lessen our integrity. It is important to own up to those times and explain what lead to it, why it happened or didn't happen and learn in the process. That's how we constantly develop and grow into better versions of ourselves. If we were perfect beings, we wouldn't need to learn, we wouldn't face challenges and mostly we wouldn't need God. So let's embrace the imperfect while learning to be the best we can be. Sharing our gifts of imperfection with those younger than us, so they can learn from our mistakes and hopefully save them from going through some of their own.
Integrity is the glue to hold any relationship together. It covers the groundwork. Whether it is your honesty, sharing your thoughts, or just being authentic in all your words and actions - integrity can lead you down many different paths in life, just as lack of integrity can lead you down the wrong ones. Make sure your values are aligned. Being able to be honest with yourself first, gives you the courage to be honest with those around you. Keep your values in your forefront, no matter your circumstances. Know that sometimes the popular opinion isn't the right opinion and that is OKAY. From this point on let's all try to align our values with our decision making in life and see where it leads. You may be just that right inspiration someone needs.
Your Girl Next Door and So Much More,