Christian Track: Integrity, Coming Clean with the Small Things

Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“A good name is to chosen rather than great riches; and favor is better than silver or gold.”
-Proverbs 22:1

I distinctly remember the first time consciously understanding that doing the right thing was going to cost me greatly at the personal level. I was about 7 or 8 years old and I had stolen a piece of candy, a blue jolly rancher to be exact, from the local Powell Valley market.

The ridiculous thing was that that exact piece of candy retailed from the market for 5 cents. For whatever reason, I decided that tiny jolly rancher was something that I had to have, and so, all common sense and ethical virtue became obsolete.

I learned that day that compromising morally, ethically and financially for a tiny piece of candy is suicidal to your own conscience.

I remember eating that piece of candy but absolutely hating every minute sucking on that darn thing. It was the most “non-enjoyable” piece of candy that I’ve ever consumed. It’s like the more I sucked off the artificial “blue raspberry” flavoring I was simultaneously sucking down the shame and guilt knowing that I was a thief.

Anyway you looked at it, it was a bad trade. I knew that what I had to do next was almost as difficult as eating that “forbidden artificial fruit”…I had to go back and confess it to the store manager.

Walk of Shame

I took the “walk of shame” back to the manager that afternoon and told him what I had done and he made sure I paid restitution and he gave me stern talking to about integrity, honesty, and that even though I had made a mistake he forgave me and wanted me to live my life going forward making the right choices.

Serious father talking to teenThat was important day with an important lesson to embrace; no matter how much my desires and my appetites raged and coveted within me the exchange of my integrity and character was NEVER worth exchanging for a simple consumable good. I learned that I valued people over sugar, a clean conscience over a blue tongue, to be clean inside over having a quick sugar rush.

This lesson would need to be learned many times again over the next 20 years but by God’s grace I am learning, and helping others learn, that “coming clean”, and “walking into the light” however painful, embarrassing or difficult is the only place we find real joy, real peace and real relationships.

The invitation of living such an authentic life isn’t an invitation of ease, instant fixes and warm fuzzies but doing the right thing when it personally costs you something is a freeing moment that demonstrates to you and to God that you value your integrity and your reputation more than anything else and to have a “good name is better than great riches.”

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Making mistakes and asking forgiveness is a big part of addiction recovery, what has been your experience with owning up to your mistakes and asking forgiveness? How has this making amends impacted you?

Ryan Moffat FamilyAbout the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 16, 2015
Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.