According to the Growing Kingdom Character book by Tom Yeakley, it is who you are when you think you are alone, or consistency regardless of context. In my own definition, it is the consistency of your character that causes people to trust your leadership.
For someone that follows Jesus though, I think its not only integrity with people, it means integrity with God. After all, God sees everything and knows our heart. Acts 24:16 says, "So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man."
Yeakley put out some challenging questions and statements. Here are a few things that I'm challenged by from his writing and what I've learned about integrity:
- Are you a person who keeps your word?
- Are you developing behavior patterns of integrity or dishonesty in life?
- When you say you will call people back, do you?
- Do you embellish stories in ministry to make them sound better or put a great spin on them?
- Are you verbal processor? If you are when you discuss things regarding decisions or people that leave the impression that others view as a firm decision or let them know with a disclaimer that you are processing?
- Dishonesty in the small, daily issues of life can create a character flaw that eliminates us from finishing well.
This shows me a couple things. Integrity does count in the little things. Integrity is something that gets to peoples hearts. Integrity has to come by acting on the promptings of the Holy Spirit to do the right thing, say the right thing, and act in honesty in the right way. And a man of integrity can be trusted as a leader.
I pray that the Lord would move me to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit to act rightly. I pray that integrity would be how I lead. That one day they might say about me what they said about David. That I shepherded the women on campus with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
The other thing that has been neat in this journey is that I feel like God keeps sending me back to life school in some ways. I read these things, and I think "Ay yi yi, I have so far to go to have this kind of integrity.
But the Holy Spirit prompts my heart saying "That's not the point. What I want you to know, dear girl, is that I lead you like this. I lead you with honesty, With complete integrity. I follow up and follow through well. I am consistent to lead you in all contexts the same. And that does make me want to follow Him and Trust Him. And it starts to make me see how Integrity is so important to the character of a leader.
This Blog brought to you by a little piece of Robe returned by David.