Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is Your Mouth Writing Checks That You're Actions Aren't Cashing?

This election year has me thinking alot on Lip Service. Maybe because it's an election year it seems as if the amount of people saying things they don't really mean or saying one thing and doing another... or just not doing anything at all while insisting action and change is their intent has been MAGNIFIED.

Had a meeting yesterday morning and we got on the subject of Integrity and Honesty and how compared to our parents generation, people of today don't even have a concept of those things.
Back in the day, your word was your bond. Today, you can barely trust the word of those closest to you in even the smallest things. If you can't trust someone to do the small things, is it wise to invest enough in people to even get to the bigger things?
(this reminds me of being willing to DIE for our beliefs, but not willing to live with or for them)

It all boils down to INTEGRITY.

I like to watch and observe people I think actions tell more about a person than their words ever could. And if words and action are continuously inconsistant, there's a problem with integrity. Most peope think of integrity & honesty as simply telling the truth... and only when asked. It's not a bad thing but it's a lazy thing. We're taught to be more than lazy thinkers and doers of the word.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Even our young women STAND UP each week and make the promise to stand for truth and righteousness at all times and in all things and in all places.
And I believe the theme for our LDS youth is

Mosiah 5:15 'Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works'

We've seen the word abounding a few times in our scriptures. It means "plentiful, overflowing, abundant." As far as I know, those are action words. While we are in this life we're to be actively building up the kingdom of God by word and deed. I think tooo many of us think of it as "just" a Sunday thing. There's so much more to it than that. Building up the Kingdom of God is more than listening to a serman or listening to religious music on Sunday. These are great things but seriously if the majority of us think that's enough and the best we can do the world is in trouble. I think anytime we simply do "just good enough" and not our best, we lack integrity in those moments. Don't get me wrong there are defineately times when "just good enough" IS all you can do. But it should be the exception and not the rule. Integrity starts with intention. It starts in our minds, and our thinking. Its in our words, our follow up and our follow through. We would all do well to live as if our word IS our bond. So much of us live by saying things we don't mean or spouting things off the cuff with no intention of actually doing them. How many times do we find ourselves saying :
"I'll be there." "I'll call you back/tomorrow" "I will do.." or "Promise I'll get to it..."

Just for our follow up to end up being:
"I was going to but..." "what had happened was..." "I didn't forget I just..."?
We are fooling ourselves if we think these things go unnoticed by our friends and family after pulling it so many times. I can guarantee they may appear to believe you at your word but they certainly aren't counting on it or believing it much.

I've had a few disappointments in this regard this summer. It's taught me, if nothing to try and be a person whose intentions match their actions. I don't want it said of me that I am lazy in actions and lacking in integrity.
I like knowing that I can be counted on. It's tiring at times but it feels good to know people can count on me to get things taken care of and to keep my word for the most part. I don't want to be a disappointment to my friends and family and most of all to myself. I'm the person who believes you when you say you're going to do something no matter how small or big.
I'm also the one who is done believing when I see you haven't kept your word or your plans always fall though and don't happen the majority of the time. It actually only takes about 2 or 3 times and then I'm done believing.
Even if at some later point you happen to follow thru on a couple of the big things, I'm not going to trust you to get MOST things done. I'll believe it when it see it, because you've shown me that's all you deserve.

We should be taught and teaching from a young age and quite regularly the importance of integrity (things like selfishness, greed, taking more than we need just because we can or because something is free should be an abomination to us and should be taught to our children from a young age.)
We are taught that Integrity is being honest in word, thought and deed even when no one else is watching or around. This means we are hard working all the time, not just when the boss is going to be coming around. It means we are truthful and standing up for it and righteousness, not only when it's convenient, but even when it's not the popular or cool thing to do. It means our words and actions are consistant with one another. It means our actions, intentions and thoughs are the same regardless of who we are with. We aren't saying one thing and doing another. Or Implying one thingand then it not happening. It means we are actively putting forth the effort to cash the checks that our mouths are writing in all areas of our lives: Physically, mentally, emoitonally, spiritually, economically and so forth.

Even those little things we say we'll do and don't end up doing, they make a difference. It has everything to do with intent which starts in our thinking.

Proverbs: 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."

Let me put this too you in todays terms: "Where the mind goes, the behind follows."

And if you STILL don't get it... let's try one more time: We accomplish exactly those things we want and intend to accomplish.

It is very rare that we put on hold the things we really really want to accomplish. It's not in our nature to allow someone else to plan or take over and move forward on the things WE want. Anything we are passionate about we don't pawn off on others, we are actively involved and abounding in the progression of it.

So if you look around at your life and are noticing a pile of "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" or unfinished goals and accomplishments check your intent and actions. More often than not that has everything to do with it.

I'm guilty of some of these things, we all are. But lately it seems as if I'm actually feeling the effects of it.
Is this what it feels like to my friends and family when I say things to them and don't follow through or fall short? I know in this regard I can work harder on being a person of integrity. My challenge for us all is to make a committment to being a person of greater integrity.
To those who feel it doesn't apply to them, read Proverbs 23:9 and good luck and stop bouncing checks.


S'mee said...

I was watching a talk by Sheri Dew this morning as I got ready for church. Her topic was on integrity and just the same as you write, your word being your bond,even in the little things; more than just telling the truth, being "true blue" with God and fellow man, in business and life in general.

This post in tandem with her talk has opened and closed my Sabbath with a great reminder to pull up and tighten my own integrity and to be the example I want from others.

ShaBANG said...

Wow excellent! Good to know I'm in tune with some of the chosen leaders. Sometimes I wonder. I want it to be known that usually when I do a blog on something like this it's not just sounding off about people I'm dealing and how it's impacting my life it's also an admittance to flaws I see in myself as well.
I FEAR THOSE WHO CAN'T ADMIT TO THEIR OWN FLAWS and find no reason to work on bettering themselves.

Mark said...

What I'm slowly learning (way too slowly) is not so much on the "cashing the check" end, but to be more discerning on the "writing the check" end. My biggest problem is that I let myself get into trouble in the first place by saying, "Sure, I'll do that!" when I really ought to say, "sorry, can't fit that in."

Lisa S said...

Loved this post. I have slowly learned to reveal my true feelings about requests of me. Recently I was asked to teach the gospel basics class. My companion, who was the teacher, asked to be released because of work burdens. I told them that I would teach in the interim until they found someone to do it. I have been a ward missionary for the past 2 or 3 years. I was a fulltime misionary so I love doing it. But I also have a family, and I'm just a little tired. Lately we haven't had anyone in class. Our Elders are the A.Ps to the mission president, so we share them with the rest of the mission when they travel. I also said no when they wanted me to be the Primary chorister, along with being the R.S. chorister and ward missionary. I just felt that it was a bit much. I said I would do Primary if they released me from the others. So I remain a ward missionary ( not much action lately) and the RS chorister.

ShaBANG said...

I believe most of the time we have good intentions. However when it's a constant pattern,I think it shows our integrity. Whether we're intending to and never getting around to it or just saying things in the momen for praise and props. Our ability to accomplish what we say plays a part in our integrity.

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