On Halloween night, many trick-or-treaters probably came to your house. Some may have worn masks, pretending to be someone else, someone you did not recognize. Halloween is past, but many are still wearing masks. In fact, they wear them all year round. You may recognize them and think you know them, but the real people inside are very different. They are hypocrites.
Recently I taught at the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat on integrity (honest life) instead of hypocrisy (pretense, fake). One description of integrity is “what you would do if no one were watching.” Take that a step further. What would you do if you knew you would never be caught and never punished for it? Think about it honestly. Would you live the same as you do today, or would you live differently? The answer to that question reveals if you are a person of integrity. None of us is perfect, but each of us should strive to live before God so that the person inside (thoughts and desires) and the person outside (talk and actions) are the same.
In preparing for the workshop, I read an example of a lady of integrity – Wendy Ward, an LPGA golfer. In 2000, she played in the LPGA Championship. She went into the game tied for the lead. She was on the 13th hole and had lined up her shot. Her club had already touched the ground when she noticed that the ball had moved just a little. The rules said that movement required a one-stroke penalty, even though her club had not touched the ball. She did not question whether or not that would cause her to lose the game. Her parents had taught her integrity. She would not cheat! Later she found out that no one else saw the ball move, but she determined to do right, regardless of the consequences. Her decision to follow the rule probably cost her $120,000 and the title of World Champion, but that day at the Award Ceremony, the winner of the tournament called Wendy the true champion. Wendy said, “I don’t want to bring shame to His name, because I’m placed on Earth only to glorify His name” (Integrity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Regal, 2008, p 54). You are on this earth for the same reason. Take off your mask and live with integrity. Glorify God!