After four years of writing my column in Christian Today and undertaking engineering at UNSW as a young writer - I wondered what my final article might look like. One issue that has been upon my heart these past four years has been a growing abundance in the world of lowering standards of attitude and integrity.
Looking back a generation, people were more willing to make sure their lives were orderly. For us, Integrity simply involves ‘practising what you preach,’ whereas attitude refers to the way we approach tasks in our daily lives.
When it comes to these two virtues, I struggle to keep myself in check. These are a couple of things that I confess guilty to:
1. Procrastination. My attitude when it comes to any task with a deadline is dreadful. When I have to complete such a task, it is quite fascinating how the most unpleasant things become desirable. I think this is the case for many of us.
2. Zoning out. I must be amongst the worst listeners on the planet. For example, when it comes to receiving instructions, I will constantly nod my head, agree with what they’re saying, then when they finally ask, “Are you fine to go ahead and do this for me now?” I will embarrassingly say,” Sorry, what was that last part?”
There are a many other examples that are prominent in the world, like poor punctuality, swearing, gossiping and a myriad of others. (see 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1-5)
Maintaining integrity and a healthy attitude in life are important because it reflects on you as a person. When people don’t act respectably or orderly, others view them poorly. 2 Timothy 3 verse 9 says “But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
God instructs us to live holy lives: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 7). As a Christian, it is important to live an above reproach life, not just for those who are of lesser faith than you, but also for non-Christians, “so that you daily life may win the respect of outsiders.” (1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 12). Part of this orderly life involves integrity (practicing what you preach) and having the healthy attitude mentioned earlier.
For most people, there are a lot of things that could be done to improve their integrity, quite often so many things that the task becomes daunting. The best way to go about living a more proper life is to start small, or with one thing at a time. Try to have a more positive approach to daily tasks, try to be yourself regardless of who you are with or try to set some standards that you will keep no matter the situation that you face.
We must remember that we are called to be different from the rest of the world, valuing Godliness and trying to act more and more like Christ, and I know that Christ had integrity and a positive attitude when doing the Father’s will.
I was watching a sermon on television not long ago, and the preacher was saying that anyone who is living by the Spirit won’t be content with living a sinful life. I believe that this also applies to us setting good standards, and keeping to them.
I myself am trying to improve one step at a time and finding that not only does it help me to gain a sense of improvement, but also helps me to have a more positive outlook on life.
I also find this means that when I talk to people about God, I am able to be joyful and proud of my standing in Christ, giving them the best chance of hearing what I say.
Tim Robertson is from Sydney, and likes to write about recent learnings in the hope that other people may also benefit from them.
Tim Robertson’s previous articles may be found