You heard sayings like “A man’s word is his bond,” or “My handshake is my contract.” meaning that character not wealth or power or position is of supreme worth. These words of prose originate in another age. We live in a paper contract world, thanks to the legal realm, where “A contract is only worth the paper it’s written on”, and verbal promises are broken with regularity. Today, a handshake is just that, a firm greeting. The telling of “White” lies and the sanctity of keeping one’s word is all but forgotten and akin to absence of maintaining personal integrity in this modern society.
If you are so inclined, there is a passage in Psalms that rings very apropos, “Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” The list of qualifications for those God will accept into His Family: i) those who walk uprightly, ii) work righteousness, iii) speak the truth, iv) do not backbite, v) do no evil to their neighbor. These qualities are all proper spiritual guidance appropriate as a road map or cross-check for spot self-analysis when evaluating act of keeping our word.
Temptation towards compromise, and exception-making is a continuous mine field. Our personal integrity is often a foundation from which our lives in sobriety is built upon. We are not born to lie. It’s not genetic. Somewhere along the way we were all exposed to this defective activity. Many, to the point where untruth becomes a reality and where truth is the lie. Addicts and alcoholics are frequently accustomed to this false reality but I, like many of us, are completely unaware.
Still Small Voice?
Many successful spiritual recovery program participants report the presence of a newly functioning “Still small voice” that speaks up to evaluate a particular act with frequent contradiction to questionable behaviors.
We can all justify going back on what we have said, and frequently we’re prone to compromise with what we had promised by just fulfilling the obligation partially. Other times, we shrug-off obligations rationalizing that circumstances have changed, and out of our control, exaggerating the facts.
Does any of this ring true?
If so, there is hope. For one, you are here doing some research. True sobriety is an exploratory path where nothing seems to make sense. Our pursuit to a better life is filled with moments like this where the results of practicing these principles doesn’t make logical sense. The addictive human mind had no equal to the speed and ingenuity for making excuses.
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