Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

When Integrity Hurts

I've often heard it said that integrity is who you are when no one is watching.

Sometimes, though, integrity is standing up for what you know is right even when everyone is against you. And that's the uncomfortable situation in which I find myself today.

Without giving excessive details, I am a leader in an organization that made a decision, a decision that some have now decided was the wrong decision. The problem is that this decision has been communicated far and wide, and I don't believe we can change our minds after the fact. I also believe there's a lot of conflict of interest in the situation.

I have really struggled with my role and whether I should continue or whether I should simply step away. Honestly, I would gladly walk away--and it would be SO much easier. I also know in the long run, it would have a very negative impact on an organization I care deeply about.

My name is being maligned.

My character is being attacked.

I am losing friends.

My heart hurts.

My family is angry and ready to fight.

Ultimately, I know I am in the right based on charters and by-laws and written agreements. Ultimately, I know if I fight, I will be vindicated. Ultimately, I know by fighting I will leave a stronger and better organization.

But being the voice of integrity is hard.

So how do I proceed?

Remember God sees and knows. I can honestly say I don't have a single doubt about what is right in this situation. Although there are others who see it differently, this is not a gray area. It is clearly spelled out in writing.

As I walk through this situation, I remember my Father. I know He sees me, He sees my pain. I know He knows my heart, knows my desire to do what is right. I know my Savior suffered and died because He cared for you, for me.

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:17

Speak with gentleness and respect. I have not been ugly (although I have been accused of being ugly). My words have been laced with kindness and respect, using words such as please and thank you throughout. I've not been sarcastic or ugly.

I try to remember with each interaction that I am a vessel of my Savior. I'm not very good at hiding my emotions, though. Because of that reason, sometimes my best course of action is just to keep my mouth closed until I have time to process my emotions.

Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. Colossians 4:6

Cast all your cares on Him. Oh, how this has been my prayer every single moment of every single day! I have begged God repeatedly to take my cares, to help me leave them at His feet. It seems I lay everything down at the foot of the cross only to pick it up again, to begin ruminating on the anger and frustration. I come back to my Savior and again beg Him to help me put it down and leave for Him because He cares for me. It seems to be an endless cycle.

I know the answer is in focusing all my mind on Him so His perfect peace will flood my heart and mind (Isaiah 26:3). However, as we all know, this human existence is hard. Learning to be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) is essential and yet a minute by minute battle at times.

I'll be honest. I don't know how this little season will end. I don't know what the outcome will be. I know that I'm doing my best to stand strong for what is right, to be a woman of integrity in every area of life. I know I will continue to lean on my Father, to seek His face, to ask Him to carry this burden.

At least I know I can rest at night knowing I'm fighting for what is right.