Integrity


in·teg·ri·ty

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2.the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

One of the key issues for anyone who falls into sin is the issue of integrity, not the moral or ethical aspect, although that is important, but the lack of wholeness.  When there is a “hole” of need in a life that person will try to fill it with what they believes will fill that hole.  It’s this lack of wholeness that is core to the problem of infidelity.
We all struggle with wholeness.
God knows that.
That’s why Jesus came.  His mission was to save and restore to wholeness the man he created.  We teach and preach the message of salvation and wholeness as pastors and it’s common to expect people in the pews to respond to this need and seek wholeness, integrity.  But what we often ignore is the fact that the man in the pulpit is also fallen, broken, and needs wholeness.  There are times when the pastor will seek wholeness in other places than God and his work in him.  It happens subtly.  It happens seductively. It happens.  And suddenly, or so it appears, a pastor who is looking for wholeness in the people of his church finds that he himself has sought that wholeness in all the wrong places.  Because he lacked wholeness, lacked integrity, he was easy prey for the enemy.  And he falls.

The secret for this short post is this reality-  integrity (wholeness) must be found in God alone.  When we seek to fill those holes in some other way we always get in trouble.

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2 responses to “Integrity

  1. v.arulthumbi gilbert

    When a Pastor gets corrupt it is extremely painful.He shoul have indigrity to lead a church.Integrity=Openness + Trust

    Integrity is such a big issue in the news media at present. It seems that every day we’re seeing more examples of corporations and individuals who sacrifice principle for profit. So it’s probably natural for church members also to ask, How’s my church doing in this area? How would you answer?
    First, what does it mean to have integrity? To me, it is about openness and trust—you are what you show. When people see you, they don’t have to wonder what’s real and what’s not. The values that you project are the values that actually guide your life.

    Integrity covers an almost unlimited range of issues; I’m here choosing to focus on just one. We’re hearing more about what’s going wrong in the world’s financial markets, and there’s a palpable sense of anger—of outrage—directed toward those who’ve abused positions of trust. These are individuals who’ve been driven by extreme selfishness and greed to “gather unto themselves,” and who are claiming remuneration far in excess of what’s fair and reasonable.

    Does all this impact us as a church in any way? Yes, I think it does. We’re not isolated from the kind of scrutiny it generates. Our members live and work in the secular marketplace, and so what happens there affects them also. And in this economic climate, they become even more sensitive to how the church uses its money—and rightly so! They should be sensitive and they should hold church leadership accountable.

    people have a right to ask, Well, then, how does that apply to you? I can’t talk about this from the perspective of a bystander; I’m really talking about how I, as a church leader, also fit into this particular landscape.

    Church members have high expectations precisely because this is their own spiritual community. And so if you take on an assignment within the church you must remember, whatever your function, you’re a servant. You’re entrusted with a responsibility by your faith community and by your God. That must be the mental backdrop against which salaries, bonuses, and allowances are viewed.

    But there are some within the church who are given special assignments. For them to ask, What is someone in a similar position in the corporate or secular world getting?” and then let the answer define their own salary expectations—this is a fundamentally flawed way of thinking.

    People who support the church have a right to expect the highest integrity.

    It’s flawed because it fails to acknowledge that they are first and foremost part of a spiritual community; they are servants. If a large paycheck is required in order to bring out your best, then the suggestion is that something is fundamentally wrong. Whatever the church is involved in—whether it is preaching, teaching, healing, development aid, or other institutional work—it is primarily about serving God and serving humanity.

  2. Great comments. Obviously you have thought well through this. The reality is that in culture (the secular world) integrity is “expected” but there is no clarity of what that means. But, in the church, integrity is clearly defined and expected, especially from our leaders. I like your conclusion- it is all about serving God and glorifying him in our lives.

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