The Integrity of a Thrift Store Puzzle
Would you buy a puzzle from the thrift store? I’ve often wondered why they sell puzzles. It is possible all of the pieces are still present, but what are the chances one out of 500 pieces have gone missing? I’m sure they don’t employee full-time puzzle solvers at Goodwill to account for every piece. Could it be the puzzle was given to the thrift store because no one has done the puzzle in ages? And could it be it hasn’t been completed because a decade ago one or more pieces disappeared? I submit to you it is highly likely!
There are few things more frustrating than to invest hours of your valuable time assembling a puzzle only to find it is missing pieces. Would you risk $1 for an incomplete picture?
God was willing to stake everything on one of His masterpieces. At least five times in the first two chapters of Job “integrity” is mentioned. When you see the word “perfect” and “integrity” you are looking at the same root word in the original language.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil…there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil…and still he holdeth fast his integrity…Dost thou still retain thine integrity? (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3, 9)
The word integrity comes from the Latin integer which means “whole, complete, untouched.” Trophies are awarded to those who exhibit excellence and integrity. For example, the Heisman awards a college football “player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” The world is looking for complete, through-and-through individuals. It is interesting how often when there is someone of integrity, they attempt to dig up dirt on them so they can bring them down to their level.
In the reality of life, Job pursued excellence with integrity, and God knew it. The beautiful way James picks up this idea of completeness indicates integrity is formed by trials.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)
You too can be integrous, complete, untouched, but the demonstration and development of such qualities occur through trials. Do you have the integrity of a thrift store puzzle? Would you allow God to complete your life? Would you allow Him to fill in the pieces which are missing so you can be His masterpiece?
The law of the Lord is perfect…Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: For the end of that man is peace. (Psalm 19:7; 37:37)