These are four attributes many claim to have, but, if all were revealed, may not be the case. It is easy to give “lip service” to these and, unless someone sees what you do when no one is looking, many may believe what you say and take you at face value. Action—action gives evidence when words die away. Do we claim honesty, but bend a little on taxes? Do we claim integrity, but work diligently only when the boss is looking? Do we do only what is asked and see no reason to go an extra step because there is nothing in it for us personally? Do we claim generosity and compassion, but turn a blind eye to the plight of others within arm’s reach?
We can say what we want. We can lay claim to all these favorable attributes and toot our own horn, but without actions as proof our words mean nothing—perhaps, if that is the case, our lives means nothing as well. If, by our actions (not our words) others label us with these attributes then it may be we are on the right path.
Do those who truly possess these attributes fall short of the text-book definition of them? Absolutely—we all have good days and bad days. Don’t let a missed opportunity lay waste to your intent. If you miss a chance to display one of these attributes, then try again. The only time we truly fail is when we stop trying.
If we took all of our good deeds and put them on the left side of a scale and put all our bad deeds on the right side of the scale, the scale would not only tip right, but would violently roll off the right side of the table and land on the family pet. Fortunate for us, the Almighty does not grade us by our deeds, but rather sees our heart and from that vantage point, rallied together with a heaping portion of His grace, sees our worth.
Honesty, integrity, generosity and compassion should be what we strive for. Will we always succeed? Most assuredly not, but we should not let a repeated failure defines us or dissuade us from trying as many times as it takes.