Integrity simply means a willingness not to violate one’s identity. Erich Fromm
We are betrayed by what is false within. George Meredith
I will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions. Lillian Hellman.
In our daily activities we are forced to make many decisions. Many of them are rather mundane and non-sequential. We are often faced with decisions of a tougher nature. The nature of some of these decisions costs us money, time and convenience. Some of these decisions causes us to seemingly sacrifice something we think is important in order to do something for someone else. Often, these kinds of decisions require we overcome our selfishness and become selfless and do something that appears not to be in our immediate self-interest.
Many of the above instances are describing the circumstances which lead up to doing “the right thing” type decisions. The world in which we live tends to be very selfish in nature. We are surrounded by people who are driven by “what’s in it for me”. We are not in the habit of necessarily making the decision that benefits others before it benefits us. We are geared toward a “winning for me” decision making process.
The truth is that the impact of the decisions we make are not as simple and clear cut as one might think. Every decision we make more or less has two impacts on us: The immediate and short term effect and the longer lasting impact. We tend to concentrate only on the immediate and short term effect. In so doing we tend to ignore or avoid making decisions that are better for us in the long run. We are driven by instant gratification more than we are driven for “what’s best in the long run”. Having said all of this, the bottom line is that we are the cumulative effect of all of the choices and decisions we make. If we are geared toward always choosing and deciding on selfish type decisions, we are not doing much to make us into the better person we can be.
We should be geared toward making “the right decision” of all the choices we have. In so doing we often must sacrifice what seems to be in our best interest (selfishly) and do things that are beneficial to others and morally and ethically superior. Again, there are two consequences to our decisions, the short term and the long term. In a sense, each of our decisions is like planting a seed. Selfish decisions are often “weed seeds”. “The right decisions” are flower seeds. We always reap what we sow.
Challenge: Be more aware of “the Right Thing”. Resist making selfish decisions. At least, on occasion decide to do something that benefits someone else more than it benefits you. In the long run you are benefiting yourself much more than the short term benefits of more selfish decisions. When you do things for others, most of the time, you really benefit the most. This is planting flower seeds that help you become more of a beautiful person.
Wisdom: A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature. Marcus Annaeus Senecca
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
As humans we are selfish and sinful in nature. It is a tremendous challenge for us to always give of ourselves to benefit others. Needless to say this requires going against the grain or “swimming against our normal current”. It is not against God’s nature to be unselfish, loving and giving. God is Love. When we seek the relationship with God we were meant to have. He empowers and enables us to do things we cannot do totally on our own. We are incomplete without Him.
Prayer: Help me to “the Right Thing” in the decisions that I make.