yes, i was that kid in elementary school who fessed up even when i could have gotten away with it, that kid who cried when teachers were disappointed in my behavior or my grades, that kid who always wanted to get along with my friends because that's what good kids are supposed to do. i was and still am the "good kid."
this is why my heart is not settled when i see people living without integrity. i mean, if we claim to be Christians our calling is to a life that represents Christ, right? and if we're representing Christ then we should be living with integrity, living a life "above reproach" where people can't point fingers at the way we live. of course, we're fallen, imperfect people, but if we truly are succeeding more times than we're failing and if we are 100% committed to being Jesus to others, then our choice is not a choice that we make once in our lives - it is DAILY.
"Then he (Jesus) said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." - Luke 9:23
I like this tid-bit on self-denial... "You have the freedom to determine what self-denial looks like in your own life, but are warned that you will have to give account to God for your conclusion." - Walter Henrichsen
So this is where I land: denying myself, taking up my cross and following Jesus is a daily decision. By doing this, I am choosing each day to live with integrity and I'm convinced it's more than once each day - it's probably more like once each hour that I'm asked to make a decision based on my ethical compass and how I think Christ would have me act in that situation. I pray people will know and respect me as someone that lives out my life with integrity and purpose and that when i fall (not IF, but WHEN), that those who love me will have the grace to forgive me and pick me up and that I will do that for others - daily.