As I have mentioned in a previous entry, on Sundays I am talking about what it takes to be a world changer in today’s world. We have discussed the beginning point of commitment, the power of passion and the demand of integrity. For some reason I just can’t get this integrity issue out of my mind.
Maybe because it is such a passion of mine. Maybe because I have witnessed so many in ministry leadership breach and destroy their integrity as a result of foolish and selfish pursuits. Maybe it is because I hear so many who are not Christians point to the lack of consistency and integrity in Christians as the reason they don’t want to have anything to do with Christians and the church. Maybe it is because I am sick and tired of seeing so many who claim to follow Jesus, the #1 man of integrity of all times, whose life style is a betrayal of that claim.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not in any way suggesting that we can live perfect lives. Only Jesus has done that. But we do need to make “sinlessness” the object and goal toward which we are continually growing, I mean without deliberately detouring along the way. We need to set our hearts and spiritual development squarely on full grown maturity as a Christ follower.
And this thing called excuses. We just need to quit hiding behind a long list of excuses for our failures and wonderings. Besides, an excuse is nothing more than the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie. It may sound a little reasonable, but we know that it really isn’t true. We just want to justify our lack of integrity with it.
So help me understand this integrity issue from your perspective. As far as you are concerned, and in your thinking, I live in a “less than real,” sheltered world. I don’t experience the real world each day like you do. So help me understand the challenges to integrity.
Before we get to that I want to list the four items I mentioned last Sunday that are foundational to integrity. (You can listen to the entire message from this link, http://relaxedchurch.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=57)
1. Commit yourself to honesty, reliability and confidentiality. And I mean now, before you face a crisis or you are setting yourself up for failure.
2. Decide ahead of time that you don’t have a price. The best way to guard yourself against a breach in integrity is to decide once and for all that you won’t sell your integrity for any price. Have you done that?
3. Value integrity more than image. Now that’s a challenge for our society where image seems to be everything. It doesn’t matter whether you are successful, wealthy, beautiful or happy just so you appear to be.
4. Major in the little things. The little things make or break us. Honest and integrity are habits you ingrain by doing the right thing day after day, week after week, year after year, even when you don’t feel like it.
So help me out with this one. Take me beyond my sheltered lifestyle to the “real” world in which you live by answering one question for me.
Why is it so difficult to live with integrity in today’s world?