Most recently, my husband and I began expanding our investments by taking on larger projects. One of these projects created a solid bone of contention because we did business with someone who lacked integrity in my view.
There is a quote by Warren Buffett that says:
“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for 3 qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” ― Warren Buffett
One of my recent prayers has been that my husband and I would build our life on a foundation of integrity. As I committed myself to pray for integrity, I didn’t realize I would be opening a can of worms.
My prayer originally started for only my husband, because I realized the line of business he was in had MANY shady characters and I wanted my husband to be different. But as I began to pray for him, God began to heighten my senses to my own shady behavior. He also began to highlight the behaviors of others in my life by giving me a heightened sense of awareness.
Let's just say, I got more than I bargained for. I asked God to show us our fractures in this area and to truly teach my husband and me to operate from God’s definition of integrity.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for thee. Psalms 25:21 ASV
A righteous man that walketh in his integrity, blessed are his children after him. Proverbs 20:7 ASV
In our world, it has become very easy to tell white lies. Small fibs that we believe cause no harm. I think it’s important to say that really no human being is the golden standard for integrity, only Jesus holds that title. Even as I write this, the holy spirit is convicting me on half-truths I’ve told this week.
I think it becomes an issue when we make excuses for ourselves and begin vicariously lying. When we start making excuses like, “Well, we gotta do what we gotta do to get ahead”, we are inviting a lying tongue into our lives. The bible says a few things about a lying tongue:
'They may cover their hatred with trickery, but their evil will be revealed in public. Those who dig a pit will fall in it; those who roll a stone will have it turn back on them. Like adding charcoal to embers or wood to fire, quarrelsome people kindle strife. The words of gossips are like choice snacks; they go down to the inmost parts. Smooth lips and an evil heart are like silver coating on clay. Hateful people mislead with their lips, keeping their deception within. Though they speak graciously, don’t believe them, for seven horrible things are in their heart. A lying tongue hates those it crushes; a flattering mouth causes destruction.'
I have learned that gossip, lying and murder go hand in hand. Liars and gossipers kill others with their words and private thoughts.
I have made a promise to myself that if I detect a lying tongue in anyone I deal with I am doing one of 3 things:
1. Limiting personal interactions
You cannot be close friends with a liar. They either eventually destroy you with their words, or turn you into a liar as well. You can be nice to them, but you cannot develop an intimate relationship until they have addressed that part of their life.
2. Do not go into business with liars
There is a popular saying that goes “Show'em how to move in a room full of vultures.” Well, I’m going to tell you to not hang out in a room full of vultures. Just leave. Don’t try to correct them, don’t bargain with them…just leave the table altogether.
3. Be confident that God is not sleeping
The proverb posted above says that the evil plots of liars will ultimately be revealed in public. Keep your peace, God will eventually expose every hidden plot and it will lead to their own undoing.
“Honesty is a very expensive gift, don't expect it from cheap people.” ― Warren Buffett
You don’t have to trap a gossip or a liar, they eventually ensnare and trap themselves. But at the very least, do yourself a favor by keeping yourself from harm’s way.
How do you keep integrity in your business? Tell me all about it and share this blog on Facebook!
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