Manataka American Indian Council

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Proudly Presents

 

 

 

 

 

ELDERS SPEAK

The Reverend Dr. Fred D. Wilcoxson, PhD, Manataka Elder

 

 

“Integrity is the first step to true greatness. Men love to praise, but are slow to practice it. To maintain it in high places costs self-denial; in all places it is liable to opposition, but its end is glorious, and the universe will yet do it homage.”

 ~ Charles Simmons, British Politician and Author

 

Maintain Your Integrity
 

A while back, there was a story about Reuben Gonzales, who was in the final match of his first professional racquetball tournament. He was playing the perennial champion for his first shot at a victory on the pro circuit. At match point in the fifth and final game, Gonzales made a super "kill shot" into the front corner to win the tournament. The referee called it good, and one of the linemen confirmed the shot was a winner.

 

But after a moment's hesitation, Gonzales turned and declared that his shot had skipped into the wall, hitting the floor first. As a result, the serve went to his opponent, who went on to win the match.

 

Reuben Gonzales walked off the court; everyone was stunned. The next issue of a leading racquetball magazine featured Gonzales on its cover. The lead editorial searched and questioned for an explanation for the first ever occurrence on the professional racquetball circuit. Who could ever imagine it in any sport or endeavor? Here was a player with everything officially in his favor, with victory in his grasp, who disqualifies himself at match point and loses.

 

When asked why he did it, Gonzales replied, "It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity."

 

Integrity is a word that is not used much in today’s English. One definition of integrity is: “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity” (www.yourdictionary.com) so we can say that a good synonym for integrity is honesty. There are more than twenty Bible verses that speak to the importance of maintaining one’s integrity. As we walk through a time where a lack of integrity is seen as a necessary survival technique, I offer you just two of these verses:

 

1 Kings 9:4-5 (ESV) And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ (The LORD speaking to Solomon)

 

Titus 2:7-8 (ESV) Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

The Reverend Dr. Fred D. Wilcoxson, PhD, Manataka Elder

 


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