There once was a time when personal integrity was something people were proud of and strove to practice. There once was a time when a person's reputation was protected and kept spotless, for it provided food on the table and cherished friendships. There once was a time when people took pride in perfect attendance, strove to be the best in what they did and shared the excitement when a companion achieved greatness.
We live in a dog eat dog society where people think only of themselves and will do whatever it takes to win, become rich or reach pinnacles of power and influence. We also live in a culture that breeds laziness, slothfulness, apathy as well as something for nothing and entitlement mentalities. Of course there are still plenty of people who are diligent, honest and take pride in a job well done; but their numbers are dwindling daily and replaced with indifference and even disgust in things like integrity.
Every day the world in which we live grows more perilous, ruthless, dangerous, frustrating and worthless. Every day more and more people throw in the towel, swallow their pride and become wards of the state or compromise every principle they stood for in order to survive. Compromise is the enemy of integrity. When integrity is compromised, through necessity or desire, a person loses the ability to look in mirror and not be repulsed by what they see.
It takes unbelievable guts to stand one's ground when everyone else folds under the pressure of need or greed. It takes incredible strength of character to refuse the advances of those who promise the moon but deliver only coal. It takes an unbending resolve to not yield to the temptation to compromise one's personal integrity.
It is tough for a Christian to witness both believer and unbeliever alike reaping the materialistic harvest that comes when principles are compromised and personal integrity is breeched. It is maddening to see hypocrites receive glory, praise and honor. It is aggravating to endure the outward pomp and circumstance of people who inwardly are either empty or deceived.
The Apostle Paul had to confront the leaders in the First Century Church concerning many of these things in the epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy. It is mind boggling to read about the level of deception, compromise and wickedness that ran rampant among the leaders of the church. 1 Timothy 6 is truly a wake-up call for anyone aspiring to leadership within the church.
Obviously there was a quick erosion of both the doctrine as well as the practical application of the Word of God in the First Century. As one faithful servant after another either passed away or returned to the ways of the world., the church suffered more and more. Paul issued the call over and over again for a few good men and women to rise up and watch over the flock.
There can be no room for fear, unbridled lust, greed or arrogance within the Body of Christ and specifically among those who lead God's people. Unless a leader is willing to be a servant, they are a fraud. Unless a leader is willing to forsake all to follow Christ, they will end up following their own desires or the empty promises of the world.
It takes great personal conviction, inner strength and commitment to remain faithful over a lifetime. I pray that we all renew within our hearts the decision we made long ago to wholly devote our lives to Christ no matter what sacrifice it involves or what demands are placed upon us.
Thank you and Blessings 2 You!
[quote]Unless a leader is willing to be a servant, they are a fraud. [/quote] This is exactly what I was teaching my girls at Girls Brigade on Friday night. We need to be willing to be a servant, and to be faithful.
[quote]a leader is willing to forsake all to follow Christ ...wholly devote our lives to Christ no matter what sacrifice it involves or what demands are placed upon us.[/quote] Integrity! Amen!
I'm going to put another spin on this and add that a person of integrity is willing to admit when they made a mistake, take responsibility for their actions and be willing to face the consequences.
About two years after we started attending our present church, my husband and I watched integrity in action as a financial disaster hit our church. At the time, the man in charge of business administration was quite young... and generous. He truly wanted to help people who were in need and that is the sad thing about it. The church had grown by leaps and bounds and he found himself over his head. Instead of asking for help, he figured he could handle things by shifting things about here and there but as to be expected, he lost control, overspent and he and his wife found themselves on the doorstep of our pastor's home on a Friday night telling him that the church was not only broke... it was in the red.
Our pastor was very upfront about things that weekend. He also called a question and answer meeting for all people who were interested. What impressed me was he did not dwell on what this person had done. He took responsibility for not having proper checks and balances in place, not seeking the guidance of people with keen financial and business knowledge, having one person solely responsible for all the finances and so forth.
It would have been very easy for him to have simply laid all of the responsibility for this disaster on one person... but he didn't. He was the senior pastor and he felt that ultimately, he was responsible as well. Now that's integrity.
Did some people get mad and leave? Of course they did but because of his honesty, most people didn't waste their time pointing fingers. We rallied together to help the church regain firm footing and move on. I believe that because of his integrity we were able to get out of the red immediately, pay back an emergency loan from another church in short order and so forth.
Yes, personal integrity is very important.
over the weekend, I was following a brother from church to help another brother from the church pack and move. I wasnt familiar with the exit and got distracted and didnt pay a 25 cent toll. I told one of the sisters in the church. She said, they mail you a fine and you give them a valid reason why and it might get dismissed. So I pray and wait. Thank God for using her to calm my fears. be blessed