Integrity: the quality or state of being complete or undivided
I recently sent out invitations to a Christmas party I am having this year. I invited several colleagues from my department, and this produced a problem. To the best of my knowledge, they are not believers, and some may be somewhat antagonistic towards Christianity. Most in my department suspect/know I am a believer. Yet as I worded the online invitation, which went to mostly other Christians, but not exclusively, I really wrestled with my wording. Given that this is Christmas and not some unnamed winter holiday, I saw no reason to be politically correct…except, for them.
I typed what I basically wanted to say, then looked at it over and over. I started with, “Given how chilly this month has been already, now seems like a good time to warm the house and celebrate the advent of Christ. Please come with your family and celebrate His blessings of home and salvation!” but ended up keeping, “Given how chilly this month has been already, now seems like a good time to warm the house and celebrate the advent of Christ. Please come with your family and celebrate His blessings!”
I still struggle a little with whether I should have kept the original or not. I dropped the ending for a couple of reasons, one good, and one based out of fear. The fearful reason was not wanting to come across as ‘too extreme’ for my colleagues. The good one was that I’m throwing a party, not a worship service, and I want all of my guests comfortable. We celebrate Christmas for a reason, and I won’t let go of that. Yet also, one of the blessings of such celebrations is extending fellowship to all where appropriate, not remaining in a ‘holy huddle.’
As a non-tenure track contingent faculty, I am conscious of having a certain exposure to political whims, but in Whom do I trust? At the same time, He calls us to be as innocent as doves, yet wise as serpents. I conclude when I think over it, that I haven’t hidden who I am (or Who’s I am), while at the same time trying to be wise about the world in which I move. Were my motives perfect? No way. Is my solution good, true and sufficient? There is room for debate.
And a lot of room for God’s grace to work in my life and theirs.