Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. -Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)
Many of you may not know that one morning a week I work at a local golf course, most of the time when I work I am the first person there in the morning, other than the early hours it is great, I get the see the sun rise over the golf course and meet a lot of new people. Most mornings I find things are looking nice, equipment and carts were put away and washed as they should be and the club house was cleaned but on occasion that is not the case, you can tell that corners were cut. Many of the evening jobs that go into closing up the golf shop are done by teenagers and for many of them this is their first job and it is a minimum wage job. I know that the golf course struggles to find teenagers who will do their job with integrity, who will work hard and not cut corners, it can be very frustrating.
I have found that to be true on many of our service projects and mission trips too. Students and even leaders at times want to cut corners, want to do as little work as possible even though we have come to that place to do work and have give our word to the organization or individual that we would get the job done and do it well. I spend much of my time motivating and reminding our group to do things the right way.
This is where parents and influential adults need to step in, for this reason, we as humans are lazy by nature. I don’t have any stats or research to back this up, it is simply an observation. We as humans are going to cut corners and do as little as possible whenever possible. I believe hard work and integrity, by in large, are taught. I have heard integrity described a couple of different ways; first come from FaithWalking, which is a program our church has been a part of the last several years, they describe integrity as doing what you say you are going to do when you say your are going to do it. The second definition is this: Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. That particular quote is from Tony Dungy but that same idea has been said several times.
We must work hard to teach our kids these ideas, that integrity is important, and it is something that we cultivate and must practice to perfect it. Whether is it is homework, a minimum wage job, a service project or mowing the law we must teach or sons and daughters to do things right, to do this with in integrity. When we work with integrity we will be noticed when we cut corners and lazy we will be found out, this is a lesson our kids need to know.