There’s a lot of talk today, a lot of words, but you don't hear this word much “integrity”. Webster's Dictionary compares integrity to words like “soundness” or “completeness” or “being undivided”. In the old days when a ship or building was strong and solid and dependable it was said to be “sound”, when something is sound it can be counted on to stand firm, no matter what.
But look inside this word “integrity” and you'll find the word “grit”. A person with true grit is a person with the guts and gumption and faith and sacrifice to stand firm - no matter what.
What does our country ask of us? – Integrity!
And then there's this word “truth”. Some today try to tell us that there are no truths, no absolutes, but our Founding Fathers knew the truth, and with God's help they followed it. Inside that word, truth is the word “rut”. So many today tell us that we are in a rut, following the old ways and ideals, the moral principles and values this nation was built upon - But nothing could be more wrong.
I was recently speaking with a friend who told me an interesting story. He said that when he was a young boy, his dad set out to teach them how to drive. As they carefully drove down the road, his father noticed that his son kept looking to the yellow strips on the sides of the road, and that was the way he guided himself. But as he did that, he continued to swerve from one side of the road to the other.
His father stopped him and lovingly gave him some powerful advice. He said, “Son, as you go down the road, don't use the barriers along the roadside to keep you going straight. Instead, fix on a point ahead of you, focus your eyes on that point and you won't have to worry - you will always go straight – and he did.
What is it that our country asks of us?
To realize that we are one nation, one nation under God, and without God's leadership, we will lose our way, our focus, our direction.
I closed with these prophetic words from Abraham Lincoln,
“America will never be destroyed from the outside; if we falter and lose our freedom it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.