The way we choose to frame our experience is a great indicator of what our future will hold. There is a spiritual dynamic that seems to hold true: our words hold much power in shaping our destiny. Jesus of Nazareth taught carefully about the subtle ways the words we speak and think lead to the actions we do – this could be a good a definition of integrity.
Sometimes, we speak of integrity as something to achieve. We will say a person has a lack of integrity or we will work to be people of integrity. But it might be just as true to say that we always have integrity. The question the Way of Christ asks us is “what is the inner dialogue that is finding integration in our living?”
A good example of this is in an aspect of the story of President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Many journalists have asked him how he could come out of his long imprisonment and not unleash his anger with vengeance. He replied to these questions time and again that if he had remained bitter and allowed anger at what had happened to him to be the driving force in his life, he would have remained imprisoned long after his body was freed. Instead, he embodied the words he spoke and tried to lead South Africa in ways that could bring lasting reconciliation and freedom for all instead of allowing the hatred fostered by Apartheid to get the last word and continue to foment division. And that is a deep understanding of life-giving justice indeed.
This past week in our worship gathering, we heard about the important work that The Centre continues to do in our city. Theirs has been a journey of providing important support services for many which began as a commitment to bettering the lives of women. One of the great things about the integrity of just words and works is that you never know how far the circle of love and care will expand.
Glad you’re there, Rev. Pressley
Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa
408 East Cayuga Street, Tampa FL 33603