I introduced you to Dr. Mike Bechtle, a friend mine, last week when I reviewed his latest book, I Wish He Had Come with Instructions, a helpful book about how a man’s brain works. I’m glad to say that I get to publish a post of his on my blog today. Be sure to check out his blog at this link. I’m also giving away a copy of his book, so read to the end of this post for instructions on how to win a chance at it. Enjoy!
When I was growing up in Phoenix, most people had Bermuda grass lawns. Anywhere else, Bermuda grass would be considered a weed, and we’d fight to get rid of it. It takes very little water and grows in just about any type of soil. That makes it an ideal ground cover for the intense summer heat.
In the winter, Bermuda grass goes dormant. It turns completely dry and crunchy and brown. For all purposes, it looks dead. Once spring comes, all it takes is a little water and the lifeless turf begins to turn green.
Some people just accept the brown grass. But others want a green lawn year-round. There are two common solutions:
1.They can overseed the dormant lawn with rye grass, which grows well in the winter and dies off just as the Bermuda begins to come back.
2.They can paint their dormant lawn green.
Most homeowners choose the rye grass. But shopping centers and commercial buildings often choose the paint.
When we lived there, it was always startling to visit a shopping center in the winter, step into what looked like a lush, green lawn—only to hear it crunch under our feet. Sometimes we would see the landscapers applying the paint with their tanks and sprayers, and the lawns would magically transform as they walked along.
There are two parts to a lawn: what’s above ground (the part we see), and what’s below ground (the part we don’t see).
What happens below ground determines what happens above ground. If we see wilted grass, we know the roots need more water. If the tips of the blades turn brown, it might mean they’re getting too much water. If the grass looks dead, it might just be dormant.
The key to a healthy lawn is to take care of what happens below ground.
That’s true with people as well. What happens below the surface determines what people see in our lives.
We want people to think highly of us, seeing us as people of high character and integrity. We want to be seen as people who really care.
There are two ways to do that:
1. We can fake integrity, doing the things high-character, caring people do—hoping that people will think we actually have high character. (That’s like painting the lawn.)
2. We can build true integrity, working on our character underground and in the dark, where nobody sees. We can become people of true character on the inside. Over time, that character will begin to grow and flourish on the outside.
We can’t fake character for very long. If we’re unhealthy on the inside, there will be hints of that on the outside over time. Plus, faking it is a lot of work.
God isn’t interested in making us look good on the outside. He’s committed to genuine change where nobody else sees. When it happens, it can’t help but leak out over time.
Real character is an inside job. When it becomes a reality in our lives, people will pick up the scent.
It means living from the inside-out.
When God does his work where no one sees, we don’t have to worry about how we come across to others. We simply live lives of integrity.
Will Rogers said, “Live your life in such a way that you wouldn’t be afraid to sell your pet parrot to the town gossip.”
Want to simplify your life? Don’t try to fake integrity.
Become who God wants you to be.
Dr. Mike Bechtle has written 5 books since 2006 (#5 comes out in August 2016). He’s been a senior consultant for FranklinCovey for 28 years (but recently got off the road and is doing coaching from home). He has written articles for publications like Writer’s Digest, Entrepreneur, Pastors.com and others. He was a professor at Biola University, where he received his Masters degree. That was followed by a doctorate from Arizona State.
Since Mike wrote this guest post for me, I decided to extend my giveaway to next Saturday. Here are the instructions on how to gain a chance to win Mike’s new book: click the button “follow” in the above right corner and type in your email address.
If you’ve already subscribed, or if you just want more entries, you can earn entries by sharing this book review post via social media. Remember, though, you have to be subscribed for your shares to count as entries. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three). Be sure to let me know in a comment if you’ve shared in a place where I won’t be notified and be sure to let me know your name so I can announce the name of the winner. I will announce the winner next Saturday, so look for it! Thank you!