"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."
Proverbs 11:3 NIV
In a recent conversation with a close friend, we were discussing the frustration when someone does something wrong towards us and then gets upset with us for calling them on it. It's even worse, she said, when the person has benefitted from your honest behavior in the past, but now wants to punish you for doing the right thing.
As I said the following sentence, we both chuckled as my friend said, "Now that needs to be crocheted on a pillow or something!" I have no sewing abilities. I tried to sew a pair of pants for my daughter when she was only a few months old. When I wasn't enjoying the process of choosing a pattern or dealing with thread, I almost quit. But then when the finished product revealed that one leg was two inches longer than the other, I knew to quit! I write. So instead of a pillow, I chose to place it here:
People without integrity appreciate people with integrity
until that integrity bumps into their lack of integrity.
Isn't it amazing that that happens? One of the most frustrating experiences for me in relationship is when a person knowingly does something wrong towards me with the expectation that I will still do the right thing by them. As I've been on my own journey with my Heavenly Father through study, reflection, community and stillness, I've realized the value and necessity of setting appropriate boundaries - and not just for my own personal sake, but for the sake of the one(s) who - in their immaturity, ignorance or downright mean spiritedness - hurt me with a sense of entitlement to a free pass from me despite their behavior towards me.
The Proverb above gives us great insight into the value of integrity, which involves the proper use of healthy boundaries. There's a reason God gave us the ability to use our voices to communicate to others in relationship. Notice that this proverb doesn't say that "the unfaithful" are destroyed by the "integrity of the uprightness." You having integrity, living uprightly, being a person of honesty in no way inflicts harm on the "unfaithful" person. Your integrity is in your camp and it protects you.
The unfaithful are destroyed how? By their own duplicity. Duplicity means, "deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter" They're destroyed by their own choice to live this way and relate to others this way.
When setting boundaries with a loved one who has proven to be duplicitous, remember that they may not enjoy the experience when their duplicity bumps into your integrity; but also know that your integrity (you) didn't hurt them. They're destroyed by the consequences of their own personal choices.