“Massive personal failure does not come overnight. Rather, it is earned through a slow and progressive departure from what you know as truth. The best metaphor for integrity is glass. Glass is solid in structure, but clear. If one looks at glass, it can be seen through. Is your life able to be seen through?” Richard Dortch
When we arrived in Florida in January, the windows on our sunny porch were streaked with grime both inside and out. We had them installed the previous January but had not cleaned them beyond surface sprays of window cleaner on the inside and the power washing of the whole house in February of the previous year. Terry first tried power washing them with external window cleaner, but resourceful person that he is and seeing that was not working, looked more closely at the windows. Fortunately, they were removable, so he set to work cleaning the windows inside and out.
The result was wonderful. Sunlight streamed in without grimy splotches. By the time we headed back to Kentucky last week, however, due to multiple rains, the windows were again looking a little dirty. Windows are like that!
It didn’t happen overnight.
Surface cleaning helped, but only to a point.
Keeping windows clean requires looking for the smudges not ignoring them.
Integrity is like that!
In the world today many believe if you use the proper window dressing, call it “spin” or “professional image” or anything else you want, you can fool the public, acquaintances, some friends, family and even oneself into believing you are ONE upstanding person at least for a while. If you can keep them focused on the curtains you have elaborately chosen and arranged, they won’t see smudges that become caked on to the glass of your life. You’ll work to even keep the lighting flattering and steer folks away from the truth….of how FILTHY the window has become.
In Jesus day, the Pharisees and Sadducees were men who had mastered “window dressing” to the point that they had deceived themselves into believing they were righteous. They did not fool Jesus. And neither can I.
In a recent devotional I encountered this which set me to thinking about my windows, the ones that reveal who I am and that also allow me to see the world and others.
“If you are currently in a place where the windowpane of your life is not clear, but rather murky and covered in haze, the place to start is with prayer. Pray not only for
repentance, but that God would give you the courage to regain your integrity no matter what the cost. Only in this way, after being pressed in the vat of God’s truth and integrity, will the life you live be truly labeled clean.”
And a life as clear as glass allows one not only to be seen, but also to see without the dirt of prejudice, bias, anger, and all the other pesky human traits that tarnish sight. Building integrity like that is the work of the Holy Spirit, but I must allow that work to be done, UNTIL I CAN SEE AND BE SEEN CLEARLY as God’s own handiwork.
I am a long way from sparkling clear. Like the physical windows in Kentucky and Florida, daily, weekly, yearly maintenance is required…Did I mention I hate cleaning windows? I am thankful, God does not hate getting the squeegee out and working on me.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen. (James 5:16 NCV)