Micah 6:8 says, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" I'm not big on tattoos. I don't have anything against them. They just weren't really a thing when I was growing up, so I never got one. But each of my four children has some ink, all of it very tasteful, and one of my sons has this verse. It serves as a reminder and a declaration. What does the Lord require? It's all in that verse, isn't it? Strangely parallel to our three keys of integrity, humility, and gratitude. Coincidence? Naw, I don't believe in those....
I told y'all about seeing integrity and humility modeled in the life of my dad. Unfortunately, I went through a season when I was not as serious about ongoing maintenance of my Christ-walk. The integrity was ingrained deeply in me even in that season, but like Gideon, pride overtook humility. You wanna know what integrity without humility looks like? It ain't pretty. It's petty and critical, fault-finding and judgmental. It assumes it always has the right answer and belittles those who would dare disagree. It puts the "brutal" in brutal honesty.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is a very patient teacher, if not always a kind one. The return a few years ago to acknowledging and acting upon a daily dependence on Him, of rediscovering the joy of being in His presence, has brought more balance. It's hard to stand in the presence of the Almighty without finding some humility. It's hard to consider all He has done for me, and not thankfully worship Him. And after looking into the face of the Savior, it's hard to view people in the same way I once did. Maybe that's why Paul talks about "speaking the truth in love" and "growing up in Christ" in the same sentence when he writes to the church in Ephesus.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.... - Eph. 4:15