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Integrity in Hidden Places, Day 4- Integrity and our Time

Day 4- Integrity and Our Time
Ruth P McDonald

It all started because he was hungry. Lunch was hurried from picking up something the wife needed, so he didn’t have much time to eat and now he was “hangry.” The boss left early for an appointment and he had been asked to fill in and handle any issues that may arise. Most of the crew had left for the day, and it was quiet and slow. That’s when the idea hit him—who would know if he left an hour early? He could swing by a drive-thru, grab something to quiet the hunger pangs, and if anyone needed him, he could handle any problem via his cell. But in the back of his mind, a battle began—a faint whispering of the Spirit, reminding him of his commitment to hold down the fort; he had promised to stay.

In situations like these, we can reason away commitments and make excuses as to why it really wouldn’t matter or hurt anyone to dip out early. But integrity says our word can be trusted, and integrity isn’t just expected some of the time—it’s expected 24/7. Anything less means we are not trustworthy, genuine, nor can we be counted on. As believers, this should never be said of us.

How are some ways we might honor or dishonor God with our time, and be recognized as someone with or without integrity? Let’s just insert a few examples:

-Refusing to overcommit, as overcommitting leads to saying no to godly pursuits
-Hurrying through our day will not allow us time for properly connecting with the Lord in study and in prayer
-Using our time wisely at work so that we are without fault as to how we spend time we are being paid for
-Paying our bills on time to avoid late fees or being asked for late payments
-Setting aside time to be present for church meetings, and be willing participants
-Not making promises about what you will do with your time, and then making excuses for why you can’t honor them
-Being found consistently lazy and failing to meet goals, whether financial, physical or spiritual in nature

Time is a precious commodity and is one of those things we can’t get back or use differently once it’s spent. If we want to be recognized as people with integrity, how we spend our time is vital. We cannot be dishonest in any of the areas above, and then be perceived as a person of integrity.

Jesus used His time purposefully. He was never lazy, hurried (because He mis-managed time) or dishonest. He met each day with plans to do the Father’s will, and nothing deterred Him from that plan. In every moment of every day, He sought to honor His Father. He didn’t take shortcuts, alter the plans set before Him by God the Father, nor make excuses. His time was used to the fullest to bring honor and glory to His Father.

As we seek to be like Jesus, we, too, want to use our time purposefully. We cannot do this when we don’t manage our time well. In order to be people of integrity, we need to purge any areas of our time in which we’ve allowed sin to compromise. When no one is looking, we must be able to be counted on as one who’s doing what’s good, right, and honorable before Christ. Only then will others see us as we should be—people of integrity.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, ESV)

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