5 Key Integrity “Shifts” for Men
Do you remember learning to drive a stick shift? Remember how incredibly awkward it was? Having to deal with the car rolling backwards was new. Then there was the pressure of the parent/teacher sitting next to you. Not to mention the absolute terror you felt when you had to stop on a hill! One time I actually hopped in my mother’s car after school and attempted to teach myself. That didn’t go well. I ended up dinging up the car and the garage!
I remember staring down at that little diagram on the knob of the stick, trying to remember which direction to maneuver the silly thing. In those moments nothing seemed more impossible than trying to get the clutch, gas, break, and stick to work in harmony. I had some pretty intense jerky, car dying, gear grinding, high RPM episodes during those learning stages!
But once I got the hang of driving a stick it was the most fun! It just felt right. Finally got to a point where shifting was pretty effortless, and I didn’t have to look down at the diagram.
The reality is making a life “shift” is even more awkward and difficult. There is always the potential for moving backwards instead of forward. But when we do make some challenging transitions (shifts), they can move us forward in significant ways, and make our journey pretty amazing! I’ve outlined what I call 10 Key Integrity “Shifts” (transitions) that I encourage men in particular to focus on (but applicable to women too). I’m sharing 5 today and the other 5 in tomorrow’s post! Would love to hear if any of these are shifts you need to make!
#1. Idol Maker to Idol Crusher (King Josiah, 2 Kings 22-23) We can make an idol out of anything. Where are the idols in your life? Are you protecting them in secret? What will it take for you to crush them, and give your fullest worship to God above?
#2. Passive Resistance to Active Intolerance (Elijah, I Kings 19:3-18) Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply turn away. Sometimes God calls us to not tolerate injustice, or even blatant disobedience. What things are you allowing to slip by? Seek God for courage and boldness to address some difficult areas even if it makes you unpopular.
#3. Persistent Runner to fierce Lion Chaser (Benaiah, 2 Samuel 23:20-23) Are you running from your greatest challenge? Do you keep running in the face of opposition? Take a lesson from Benaiah, he chased a lion and is counted among David’s mighty men.
#4. Spiritual Sickness, to Spiritual Health (Numbers 21:4-9, Matthew 9:12) To get well spiritually leads to the “full” (John 10:10) life God intended for us to lead. The path toward spiritual wellness isn’t easy but remaining sick ultimately leads to death.
#5. “White Knuckle” Abstinence, to peace infused Sobriety (Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32, “came to his senses”) We are called to so much more than just mere abstinence. We are called to thrive in sobriety. Sobriety brings a deep peace that allows us to make our way in this life with our hands lifted up in worship and praise.