INTEGRITY. Webster defines it as “wholeness; entireness.” Integrity is completeness, a well-balanced life. In many cases, our society has abandoned well-balanced living. People lie, cheat, and steal. They break their marriage vows. They live in hideous sins like gossip and prejudice, incest and idolatry, greed and laziness, cut ethical corners to gain power and wealth, and put blame on others to protect themselves. Deception and manipulation abound. Lack of integrity has become an art form, a life-style.
Some leaders are guilty. They don't tell the truth ALL THE TIME, don't always say what they mean and mean what they say, are negligent in the handling of money, their own and others. Too often leaders are not reliable, don't keep their promises, fail to return emails, texts or phone calls, lead double lives that if known would cause shame and disgrace in their family.
Listen to what God says through the words of the Paul, His Apostle. “Therefore since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God. But by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2) And how about this? “For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Integrity has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity to it. It has no hidden motives, agendas, hypocrisy, or duplicity. It doesn’t play political games or engage in surface verbiage lacking substance. Integrity doesn’t manipulate others. It’s nothing but pure, simple. absolute honesty---WHOLENESS.. A WELL-BALANCED LIFE.
So leaders. . . do you want a fresh challenge for the new year? Start modeling and living the truth. . .the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Think truth. Believe truth. Respond in truth. Speak truth. Face truth. Love truth. Seek truth. Walk truth. Talk truth. That last one is a good place to begin. Starting today, intentionally, deliberately, conscientiously “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
That's a great place to begin---practicing gut-level integrity in 2019, your year of LEADERSHIP INTEGRITY.