Kevin’s Peace of Mind
www.kevintharpe.com (770) 503-1022
The Value of Integrity Lessons I Learned From Dad
Spending the last few months learning how to navigate life with my mom in heaven, I’ve found my thoughts constantly circling my dad, as well. With Father’s Day coming up this month, I figured, what better time to explore the things I’ve learned from him? While I inherited a great number of characteristics from Dad, I’d have to say that integrity is the most important. To me, integrity isn’t a visible quality; it’s the result of consistently honorable actions. The actions that show my dad’s integrity are his dedication to his word, his servant’s heart, and his generosity. My dad always says that a man’s name is worth more than any amount of gold, a motto he learned from Proverbs 22:1. To him, a handshake is a handshake, and a promise is a promise. One time, I remember telling him I wanted to quit the baseball team because we were on a losing streak. Dad countered, “Did you make a commitment to see the season through? I don’t care if you lose every single game; a man’s word is his word.”
A major part of my dad’s integrity is his desire to serve God and others. From being a Deacon in our church, to teaching Bible classes, to helping a neighbor mend a fence, Dad is always looking for ways he can help others, no matter the task. Growing up, my brothers and I would help out at his highway construction company. We did janitorial and landscaping work, primarily washing and mowing. Even if we got frustrated with our tasks, Dad reminded us that whenever we are working, we are working for God. If God made the job available to us, we needed to do our best.
“While I inherited a great number of characteristics from Dad, I’d have to say that integrity is the most important.”
well used. Many of its pages are dog-eared, verses have been underlined, and marriages, births, and deaths are memorialized. This is also the Bible from which we read the Christmas story at the Tharpe family gathering every Christmas Eve. Dad’s choice to give this Bible to me represents much more than his wish for me to continue the family legacy for the next generation. It represents his wish — like our Heavenly Father’s — that the message, “God loves us so much that He gave us His only Son, and whosoever believes in Him will have an eternal legacy” (John 3:16), survives. Thanks, Dad, for that gift. I’m the man, husband, father, and attorney I am today because of you! Happy Father’s Day!
Another lesson in integrity my dad passed to me was the value of being prepared. He believes you can’t just show up with the hope of doing your best without proper planning, and my dad is probably the most organized person I know. His ability to instill these skills in me shaped my career focus. Without him, I wouldn’t be the attorney — one who focuses primarily on future plans — I am today. Perhaps the best example of Dad’s generosity occurred last year. When he was moving from his home to the assisted living facility, he set aside a few personal items he wanted to give to each of his kids and grandkids. One thing he set aside especially for me was the Bible that had been in his family for three generations. It was given to Dad by his mother, not long after he got married 65 years ago. This Bible was
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