Enjoying the Journey
Many years ago I was driving through the town I grew up in with my mother in the front seat and my sister in the back seat. I was driving too fast. My mother (the “prophetess”) spoke evil into my life! As soon as the words came out of her mouth, “You are going too fast,” the blue lights came on behind us.
My sister thought it was the greatest moment of her life! I didn’t. The officer took my license and registration. When he came back to the car he asked me one question: Are you Roger Pauley’s son?
For a moment I wondered if he knew my dad before he came to the Lord or after. “Yes sir.” He smiled and handed my license back to me. “Slow it down and have a good day.”
It was one of the first moments in my young life that I realized how important a good name could be! I was reaping rewards from my father’s integrity. When I think of my dad there are so many things that I admire. The older I get the more I am happy when someone says that I remind them of my dad. He is my hero.
If I were pressed to say the one thing that I most admire about my father there is no question what it would be. Integrity. My dad is a man of integrity.
Fame is empty. Talent is surface. Money is fleeting. Only integrity lasts.
The word means, “whole, complete.” The majority of times it is used in Scripture it is found in the poetical books of the Bible – the heart books. It is a matter of the heart.
Job is most remembered as a man who held his integrity. David spoke of it in his writings. But perhaps Solomon said it best when he wrote, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them” (Proverbs 11:3). Integrity provides direction for all of life’s decisions.
It is rarely spoken of today, perhaps because it is in such short supply. Yet integrity is indispensable. A building cannot last without structural integrity and neither can a life.
Integrity is a long-term building project – built over a lifetime, broken down in a moment. No one can take your integrity, but you can give it up. In a day of lies, unfaithfulness, and broken promises it is a refreshing and challenging thing to meet a person of integrity.
It was integrity that caused General Stonewall Jackson to walk in the middle of the night to the house of a student he had offended just to apologize. It was integrity that spoke through Winston Churchill, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” It was integrity that made J.C. Penney refuse to be dishonest in his business dealings even if it cost him a fortune.
Integrity is revealed in little matters. When a salesman was tempted to do something unethical, someone suggested, “No one will ever know!” His response revealed his integrity, “Yes, but I will know.”
For the believer, there is something even greater – the Lord will know. Integrity is living every moment in the presence of a God of integrity. A God who is always true and always keeps His word. He never changes.
I am glad to be Roger Pauley’s son and grateful to be a son of the most High God. I want to be more like my father and even more like my Heavenly Father. Our generation needs people of integrity…standing true in a shifting world.