Although Elton Trueblood is talking specifically about economic integrity, his observation applies to all of life – our integrity matters. It's important that what we do matches what we say we believe.
So, when I'm rude to a clerk after waiting in line to buy a Christmas gift, my automatic “Merry Christmas” at the end of the transaction is not just hollow, it's offensive.
It's hard to have integrity when you're tired, overwhelmed, and your feet hurt.
It's not just at Christmas, either. What mom hasn't heard the example of the “bad” mom who talks nicely to someone on the phone, then turns and snarls at her own dear children? What mom hasn't been that mom?
How do we live out what we say we believe?
Especially during the Christmas season I try to remember that I don't have to live this life of integrity by myself – part of the reason God sent Jesus is so we have the help we need to live so the outside of us matches the inside of us. God is conforming us to the image of Jesus, challenge by challenge, difficult moment by difficult moment – as well as joy by joy.
I'm certainly not there yet, but someday . . .