by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray….. (Galatians 2:13).
I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity lately. Mostly because of this little one growing inside of me. As their mama, I have a divinely given responsibility to raise them up. I also understand that my life lived will be the greatest testimony to them and their developing heart and mind than any words I utter before them. My actions will speak much louder than any words I could ever say.
Have you ever been that person? The one who knew how to say all the right things to impress people with your spirituality but underneath the surface you weren’t actually practicing the righteousness that you preached about? I know I’ve been guilty of this. Portraying to others an image instead of opening my heart to them in a way that shows the true me with flaws, imperfections, and insecurities.
I think what I want my child to know is that they have a mom with flaws. I want them to know that their mom, even though she wants to follow Jesus with everything she has, doesn’t always do it right. But, I want them to know that they’re not going to always do it right either and that’s ok. I want them to know that grace is available and that God loves sinners who struggle, just like me.
The last thing I want for my child to think is that their mom is a superstar because they’ll quickly see that she’s not. I think sometimes we believe that what God wants more from us is our perfection and not living as a hypocrite means we’ve lived the ideal Christian life.
I believe what God is looking for is broken vessels who want to be made new. Transparent people who are striving towards the KIngdom, one little step at a time. People who are choosing to be dependent upon their maker because they understand just how screwed up they are without Him. That’s when we truly become people of integrity. Not when we’ve projected the perfect image, but when we start to refect the perfect Father.
Maybe what our children and others need to hear from us is, I’m struggling in my walk with Jesus too, so I understand why you’re struggling in yours, but here’s how I’m fighting with God for victory and right belief.
I remember, not long ago, my mom did this with me and it was such a powerful moment for me as her daughter. There’s something that happens when we take people into our hearts. It’s beautiful, so please, be willing to take people there. It is a truly wonderful expression of God’s love from you to them. I think sometimes we cling to the lie that says, “but if I share with my children or others about my struggles I will become a disappointment to them.” No, in fact, the exact opposite happens. We become people, real people, who join our hearts closer to theirs as we share in life together.
Lord, I long to be like you, but I know I don’t always get it right. I can rejoice that you’re OK with that. I can rejoice that you can handle me in all my messes. You can fill be with your purpose. Lord, as I raise up a little one, I long to be a woman of integrity before them. I want my actions to match my words and my heart to reflect your love. Let it be so, I pray, in Jesus name.