I am very grateful for my sober life today. Things become more clear. What wasn't important then is of utmost importance today. One thing I thought very little of back then was my own integrity...I'm not sure I even knew what the word meant. Today, being a man of my word, doing what I say I will do, and having principles are the lights that guide my thoughts and actions. There are opportunities daily to bend that principle, or to go back on my word, so I need "The Light" to help me. The direction I find from Him often comes through the book of Proverbs. Much of what I read there, if applied, guides me into virtuous living, and I really believe if I try to apply them, it causes God to smile. It pleases God when I trust in His Word enough to live it. And just so you know, I don't think I'm close to perfect. I can provide a list of close friends and co-workers if necessary, kind of like references on my application to prove my character flaws. But how you and I live determines God's being pleased with us. Cheer up, He loves us all anyway, even when we make no attempt to please Him.
"He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out." Prov.10:9 (NIV)
"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool." Prov. 19:1 (NKJV)
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Prov. 22:1 (NKJV)
Who are you when no one is looking? Not sure? If one hundred thousand dollars was in the room next to you and you could walk in and take it, no one would ever know, unmarked bills belonging to some filthy rich person that would never miss it, would you take it? If that addiction you have could be satisfied for the rest of your life, all you want and no one could ever detect it, would you indulge? Would you break your word to a friend concerning something extremely important to him/her, for an all exspensed paid vacation to anywhere you want to go? These may be far-fetched from reality, but still something to think about. The fact is, we do these things regularly without thought by taking things home from work with an attitude of "they have plenty of these, they won't miss it." Or break our word to a friend because we forgot "Survivor" starts tonight. In Genesis, the story of Joseph starts in the 37th chapter....skip to the story of he and Potipher's wife in chap 39. Joseph was a slave but had so much integrity, that he became rich man Potipher's overseer. Potipher's wife had it bad for Joseph, he was a real hunk, and I'm sure she was a fox, and every day she tried to get him in bed. In his response to her: he didn't say, I don't want to betray Potipher, or I don't want to ruin my families reputation, no he said, "how could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" He could have had this hot woman, no one would know. Most people I know would have,and think Joseph is a chump for not doing the act. I heard regularly, when Clinton was President, "I don't blame him, for that," in reference to his affair in the Oval Office. God must be broken hearted, not for a President, a man supposed to be above reproach, to commit the act as much as, sorrowful that man sees no wrong in it today. Wow. I think I may have agreed at the time, I'm really sorry for that. But Joseph would not play along because he was a man of integrity. Well, you read the rest of the story, its very inspirational to anyone building, or rebuilding their lives.
To make God smile is to try and please Him in all we do. Stay humble, show kindness to everyone. If you see someone in need, help them if possible. If you see paper on the floor, pick it up, especially when no one is watching. Don't draw attention to yourself by your good works. But do good for others, and don't get caught. He will smile at you. In fact, He may even put your picture in His wallet...next to mine. God bless and keep you all. Thanks for reading. Keith