i have been on my first youth choir tour (as a chaperone, yes, they let ME be a chaperone). i am still in clean up, laundry, sleep a lot, catch up on email and see what is on my DVR mode, so i will just blog the devotional that i was asked to write for one of the days. the kids each get a choir booklet and it has daily devotional readings in it. the kids are supposed to read one each day and then discuss in their small group that night. our theme was INTEGRITY and here is the devotional...


(short attention span version... Tom Cruise was wrong, you are a table, and God has a broom)

If you look up the word INTEGRITY in the dictionary (or if you google it like i did), you realize soon that you can't play with the word for too long before running into integrity's closest friends... wholeness, and completeness. They are always hanging out together and borrowing each other's clothes and calling each other cutie nicknames like BFF and they text each other ALL the time.  In fact the word INTEGER is a latin word for "whole" or "a complete unit" (and it is a math word, but math was painful for me, so let's not go there today).

Now if you have ever seen that Jerry McGuire movie, you have heard Tom Cruise say to a girl, "You complete me." Aaah, ain't that sweet? Sweet, yes. A bit nauseating, yes. True, NOPE! According to the Bible (and the dictionary)- INTEGRITY is what actually completes us. Having the TRUTH in EVERY area of our life makes us complete (so sorry Rene Zellwieger, but you don't complete Tom Cruise- don't cry now, come on just keep on reading).

Picture a table with 4 legs- now pretend that you are that table (i know that you can do it, breathe in and BE THE TABLE). You have 4 legs to support you in your tableness. Your four legs each have a name- they are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual (not really catchy names, but names nonetheless). Now think about me setting a 12 course meal on that table... are you stable? Don't let my 12 course meal fall to the floor now or you will have to clean it up!

Integrity is what makes us stable. Applying Biblical truths to EVERY area of our life (EVERY leg of the table) will keep us stable and able to stand under pressure. If one leg is weak, WATCH out when lots of stuff is piled on top of you (and you know when that happens... exams, choir tour preparations, your girlfriend breaks up with you, your mom is mad at you, your room is a total disaster, and Tom Cruise runs off with Rene Zellwieger when he should be with you).

Quick recap for those with short term memory loss... Integrity makes us whole, it completes us. It means something in latin and in math and you are a table (still with me?).

Think about these 4 areas of your life and see if your have God's truth through them all...

physical... is your body God's temple? Do you feed it right, treat it right, dress it in a way that honors Him. Then that leg is able to stand secure and won't leave you flat on the floor with salad all in your hair.

emotional... do you have too high of an opinion of yourself (it is all about me) or too low of an opinion of yourself (everyone hates me). Both of these are SELFish and SELF focused lives (and lies). Our emotions should be JOY of salvation (God love ME and died for ME) and service to others (what would He have me to do for others today?). You need to know two things- WHO you are (a sinner saved by grace) and WHOSE you are (Christ's and not this world's). This will keep you OFF of the emotional roller coaster and leave the drama to your mama and for goodness sake, you wouldn't want the appetizer course to fall on you- those meatballs stain.

mental... are you growing in wisdom? Are you applying your mind to the things God wants and needs you to learn? Are you taking EVERY thought captive for Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)? are you thinking on things excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)? Then your mind will help support your table as well and keep the roast beef from a fatal fall.

spiritual... this area seems easy, we take God's truth in and let it guide our spiritual life, but sometimes that is where we keep the truth. A table with only one leg cannot stand. A religion that is just a religion and doesn't influence EVERY thing we do, EVERY breath we take, EVERY word we speak, and EVERY thought we think- is NOT integrity, it is not wholeness, it in not being complete, and it will crash to the floor  every time and make a HUGE mess. And i had some creme brulee for dessert and i do NOT want that to be wasted.

Good thing that God is a God of integrity and He has a mop and a broom to clean up broken dishes and broken lives and creme brulee spills. He has cleaned up my messes every time! He wants us to be complete - that is why He sent His Son to die so that our lives could be made COMPLETE (1 John 2:5 and 1 John 4:12). Ask God to show you which table leg is a bit wobbly in your life and get a friend to help keep you accountable in that area. Get integrity in every area of your life and set up a video camera and look integrity in the eye and say in a really sappy voice, "You complete me." Now that is TRUTH (and a video I would like to watch with some popcorn)!

p.s. i actually had fun on choir tour and was old enough to have fun with all the chaperones and make new friends and the youth put on with me and laughed at most of my jokes and made me feel only slightly too old and uncool. and one of them asked if i was 30 yet, bless his little heart. i think they all were sucking up so i would take really good pictures of them and post them on facebook (which i did).