I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Mary Southerland
For the Lord searches every heart, and understands every desire and every thought (1 Chronicles 28:9b).
I have several roles in life. I am a wife, a mother, an author, a speaker ... the list is really quite impressive. But being Mimi to our six grandchildren hovers around the top of that list. So when the phone rang, and I heard the sweet voice of our grandson Justus ask, “Mimi, can you and Papa come to my school for Grandparent’s Day?” I did not even have to look at my calendar. Whatever appointments I might have had could be moved in a heartbeat. “We would love to, buddy!” I replied.
When Dan and I arrived, Justus’ teacher, Mrs. Fox, greeted us and told us to look around. Since I taught elementary school for several years while Dan attended seminary, I was especially interested in scoping out the classroom to make sure she was doing a good job. She was.
And then it was time for games! Mrs. Fox divided the children into three groups. Justus and his group were playing pin the skull on the skeleton. They had just completed a series of lessons on the skeletal system ... and Justus is in Kindergarten! Yep! She was doing a great job.
As volunteer parents lined the children up, Mrs. Fox came to stand beside me. “Aren’t they going to blindfold the kids?” I asked. Mrs. Fox smiled and said, “No. Some of the children really don’t like that, so we just tell them to close their eyes. And I will tell you that Justus will be the only child in this room who will not peek.”
Even though Justus is only six years old, he is a strong believer with a solidfaith. Justus has a pure heart and loves Jesus with all of that heart. Still ... he is a child with much to learn.
“Really? You think so?” I asked Mrs. Fox. She smiled and nodded. And we watched as each child was told to close his or her eyes. They were then spun in a circle three times, pointed toward the skeleton taped to the wall, and told to pin the head on the skeleton.
As child after child stumbled toward their goal, every single one of them opened their eyes at least once or did not even bother to close them all the way. And then it was Justus’ turn.
Mrs. Fox nudged me and whispered, “Now watch this!” The volunteer spun Justus in a circle three times, told him to close his eyes tightly, and sent him off in the direction of the waiting headless skeleton. I could tell Justus was dizzy as he began to veer away from the wall entirely. Shouts of direction from friends helped him get back on course.
When he was about two feet away from his goal, Justus suddenly stopped, and with a look of distress on his face said, “Mrs. Fox, I’m sorry! I really, really tried to keep my eyes closed, but they just came open once.”
Wow! Just wow!
Mrs. Fox smiled at me and said, “Justus, because you were honest, you can have another turn.” The relief on our grandson’s face was beautiful! He got back in line and tried it again. This time he made it all the way to the wall where he proudly pinned the skull on the chalkboard ... a good two feet away from the skeleton.
Integrity is a beautiful thing. And our six-year-old grandson had just schooled me on the subject.
I was undone because of the lack of integrity in my life. Oh, I can argue that there are some areas where I might pass the test of what the world calls integrity. But integrity is an all or nothing deal. It is a heart issue – a spiritual habit that decides beforehand to do the right thing.
Integrity matters to God.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8, NIV).
The word for “pure” means “ready for sacrifice.” In other words, the decisions and choices we make should be living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable to God as acts of worship.
To have integrity means to live an integrated life. That integration occurs when what we believe, what we think, what we say, and what we do are consistent. A life of integrity makes God smile.
When Justus opened his beautiful brown eyes and saw where he had pinned the skull, he did not care. He turned to me, his face beaming. Our eyes met ... and we both knew he had just made God smile.
Father, please examine my heart and show me every impurity hidden there. Show me the disobedience that breaks your heart and hinders my walk with You. I want to please You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,