Dating, honesty and integrity
How much do you value your word, your promises, integrity and honesty in your life?
In your relationships with family, friends and in business do you value what you say? What impression do you intentionally make on others with your words and your behavior? Do you give out what you expect back?
Some years ago, I met a man – a potential. You know the type, good looking successful, seemingly sincere. I met him at a friend’s house during a Christmas party and we exchanged contact details. At that time we were living in different countries which I thought was a pity, so I didn’t dwell on the ‘potential’ aspect so much and proceeded to have a lovely afternoon with everyone who was there.
I was pleasantly surprised when after the holidays he contacted me after getting back to his country. He was very persuasive and I must admit I felt flattered that he remembered and made an effort to get in touch. Over the course of a couple of months of emailing back and forth, I agreed to date him. We had a lot of mutual friends so I felt safe that he was not an unknown factor.
At that time I used to travel a lot in my job and would often fly through the country he lived in to connect to whichever destination I was going to. So eagerly I would let him know when I was going to be in his country and would make an effort to take a day or two off so that I could meet him.
Guess what? In the space of a year and a half, each time I was flying in, he had an excuse after I had arrived of why he couldn’t meet me. To say the least (and being polite), I was disappointed but hey, we had never had a date, never held hands so no harm done. The only damage was that I had told people I was dating him…. I broke it off (if there was anything to break off!) told him it wouldn’t work and that perhaps we could be friends and thereafter we kept in touch occasionally.
Fast forward to many years later, for various reasons I relocated to the country he was living in. We got in touch, he was no longer the high flying corporate executive and he was now trying to run his own small business after many false starts. He seemed excited that I had moved and via WhatsApp sent a very compelling apology of his past behavior and said he would like to try again. Said he was more mature and he was now a believer. He even forwarded morning devotionals and music aimed at wooing me.
Sigh – it was tempting… You know, new country, potential of a serious relationship with a fellow believer. I was honest in expressing my disappointment of the past experience. I said that I felt he had pursued me with the intention of me agreeing to date him just so that he could tick off on his list another woman who had said yes. I felt he had never really been interested in me. He heard me out and still asked that I give him a chance.
We were now living less than 5 km away from each other and so one day I cautiously agreed to meet him at the neutral venue – the local library.
Ladies, I wish I could say it was a happy ending. He didn’t show up, didn’t send an apology and three days later was still silent. A week later he got in touch with the usual forwards, no explanation. I was not angry, I will not allow something like this to cause me to sin by being angry and bitter. I have learnt to accept people for who they are and then I decide whether I can put up with their behavior in my life or not. If not then I cut them out of my life – I don’t know if that part is right or not but hey we are all still learning.
As I analyzed this I thought:-
- This man has no self respect and no integrity. He does not value his word. What comes out of his mouth, has no meaning and is not trustworthy.
- Is this the sort of person I would want to be friends with or do business with or recommend to others?
- I feel sorry for him because all the above is just sad behavior. Why waste your time and other people’s time with words you do not mean?
I thought of our examples in Our Father, Jesus Christ the Messiah and the Holy Spirit. There are many verses in the bible that speak about how we behave towards others but my personal lessons from this were:-
– Loving others – 1 John 3:18 says, ‘My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
– I need to safe guard my name Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen over great wealth…, Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than perfume… Not only is this pleasing to God but also you never know when you may need the person or meet them again.
Where is the love of God in this behavior? Where is integrity, honesty and respect for others and yourself? How often do we say things we do not mean or have no intention of fulfilling? Do you ever think about the impact your behavior has on the next person? What about the repercussions in terms of your reputation. Let us treat others as we would like to be treated. It may look like you are messing the other person but do you really want another person to despise you?