Last week Mum and I flew to Brisbane for a homeschool Mum’s conference Mum was speaking at (I tagged along as the technology person and PA). We had to stay in Darwin for the night to catch the connecting flight, so we bedded down with Chinese takeaway and a chick flick, Confessions of a Shopoholic. I really enjoyed it and it had some great lessons in it as well. Basically it’s about a journalist, Rebecca, who loves fashion but is majorly in debt from shopping so much. She accidentally becomes a very popular columnist in a savings magazine, giving advice on spending that she doesn’t live by herself!
Two-thirds through the movie, Rebecca’s double life of a shopaholic is found out. Her reason for shopping so much? “Shopping . . . makes life better”. The other person replied, “But what about honesty? What about credibility?”
It reminded me how much I want to live by character and how it affects our reputation, our friendships, and opportunities that come our way. It’s important because it builds excellence and relationships, and trust with other people, which in turn builds influence and leadership. When we live with character and excellence, who knows what opportunities or consequences will come our way, ones that will outweigh the money and other opportunities that we could have made with dishonesty. And even if I never get a reward for living honestly, I know I’ve done the right thing, and that I’ve honoured God. Character will last. Fashion, popularity, and money, doesn’t. It’s OK to go shopping (although you might think twice about it after watching Confessions of a Shopaholic!) but it doesn’t make the world better. Character does.
This is something my Grandad said to my Dad when he was a boy, that has affected my Dad and in turn, us kids too.
Without integrity a man isn’t worth a cracker.
What does integrity look like? We use Character First!, an organisation that teaches 49 different character qualities for families, schools, students, and businesses. Let me just add, that character isn’t a works thing that gets us into heaven. James said, ‘you show me your faith, and I’ll show you my faith by my works’. It’s an expression of love and faith and living for God. So to build those muscles of character, our family studies a character trait from Character First once a month.
As we understand what attentiveness and dependability and persuasiveness looks like and find ways to apply it to our life it ‘grows’ on us and we get stronger at dealing with their vices of distraction, inconsistency, and hostility. Confessions of a Shopaholic reminded me to live with character. It’s a far better option to anything else!