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Integrity in Hidden Places, Day 10- Social Integrity

Week 2

Day 10- Social Integrity
Maddie McDonald

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, ESV)

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19, ESV)

Not many people like to stand out in a crowd or be different. Most of us have tried to fit in, whether at school, our workplace, or elsewhere. I felt this way when I was in school and wanted to keep up with different “trends” of the time. I wanted all the new clothes that were popular, and to fit in with the “cool kids” (and yes, all of those “new clothes” would be purchased from the name brands but most definitely from the clearance rack for me). Unfortunately, wanting to fit in isn’t just something we face when we’re young and in school; it’s something we may continue to face throughout our lives. It all ties into our human nature and how we like to feel included and validated by those around us. I want to challenge you to go against that nature, and instead to remember that you are set apart for the Lord in your daily life.

First, I want to tackle how we speak about other people in social settings, because I think it has a very sneaky way of creeping into our lives. We all have people in our lives (or are we that person?) that always seem to love getting right into the middle of the drama, and seem to know personal details about any individual mentioned. What might start as a normal conversation can quickly change direction and we can get caught up in negative talk. Ephesians 4:29 instructs us to “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up.” This is our measuring stick for how we speak about others. Are the words we are saying kind and good for building up? Or are we tearing people down based on our own judgments? I don’t want to come off like I think I’ve done it perfectly when it comes to gossip, because many times I have let myself get sucked into it rather than putting a stop to the negativity. Knowing how to handle these conversations can be difficult to navigate, but I want to challenge you to use that verse as your measuring stick for the way you speak about others.

This may seem a little backwards, but it is possible to spend too much time in social settings. Maybe you are signed up for every single school or company outing, get involved in every sport imaginable, and are plugged in to every small-group Bible study you can find. All of these can be beneficial and can be a way to share your testimony and grow in your faith, but what I want to warn against is having too full of a schedule, leaving no time for the Lord. I understand that this can be a sensitive topic because all the things mentioned are “good” things, but it is possible to have too much of these good things. If we are left at the end of the day too drained to even sit down and pray and read our Bibles, that will be evident in our Christian walk. We read in Psalm 119 that “[His] word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Is this true in your life? Are you led by God’s Word and plugged into your time with Him, or are you more on top of your social calendar and what activity comes next?

The last thing I want to discuss is a little more general, but I think we need to have regular self-checks to evaluate the way we handle ourselves in social settings. What are we choosing to wear? Is it clothing that is modest and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord, or are we trying to get attention with what we wear? Are we refraining from swearing and inappropriate comments? Are we regularly attending parties that we know we shouldn’t? Are we constantly comparing ourselves to those around us and wishing we looked like them or had the possessions they have? I want to finish by reminding us all that we “are not of the world” (John 15:19). We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and we are called to BE different as a result.

If someone looked at your life as it currently stands, would they be surprised to know you claim to be a Christian? These are all questions that personally challenge me as well, but I want to remind each one of us that He has asked us not to be conformed to this world. These are all areas where our integrity is at stake, and we can either build it up for good, or we can flounder and fail. This world is temporary, and we must live our lives in preparation for eternity, where there will be no more chances for a “do-over.” If there are things in your life (and mine) that need to be corrected, pray daily for the strength to do so and take any of our needs to the Lord in prayer.

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