Wednesday, February 13, 2008

guarding our integrity :: Wednesday E-Devotion

Last week the Lord took me in several directions that have hit hard and were needed in my life and in leadership.  Lets spend just a few minutes today talking about a couple the thoughts that God has brought my way...
 
They came out in my reading yesterday afternoon of Proverbs 12 (and rocked my world once again).  Here are some verses about integrity:
 
5 The plans of the godly are just ...
 
6 ... but the words of the godly save lives. 
 
11 A hard worker has plenty of food...
 
12 ...but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. 
 
13 The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble. 
 
14 Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards. 
 
17 An honest witness tells the truth...
 
18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. 
 
23 The wise don't make a show of their knowledge...
 
24 Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.
 
28 The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.
 
Hear it, people.  Our words and our integrity are tied together all the time.  People look into our lives when we open our mouths.  It is so important that we be people who are guarding our integrity.  If we don't, we loose our witness, our right to share and our ability to succeed.  Think about it.
 
Early last week Mark Batterson (author of In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day) shared this post on his blog about the same issue:
 
"I'd rather die than embarrass Jesus Christ."

Of all the things Rick Warren said, I feel like that statement was the most powerful. Really appreciate Rick's humility and transparency. He talked about the three temptations leaders face. They are the same temptations Jesus faced in the desert.

The first temptation is lust of the flesh. Satan says to Jesus, "Turn these stones into bread." He was tempting Jesus to use his gifts for self-gratification. And the antidote is integrity.

The second temptation is lust of the eyes. Satan shows him the kingdoms of the earth and says all this can be yours. Rick said the temptation is taking shortcuts to accumulate things. And the antidote is generosity. By the way, Rick reverse tithes. In other words, he gives 90% and lives off 10%. Awfully inspiring!

The third temptation is the pride of life. At some point you can stop building altars to God and start building monuments to self. The antidote is humility. And I love Rick's definition. Humility is not denying our strengths. It is admitting our weaknesses.

Good stuff. I think he'd dead on. Integrity, humility and generosity are the greatest safeguards against the temptations leaders face.
 
That makes huge sense to me.  It is time we be known as people who love God and are guarding our integrity.  We may just influence a few more people when they realize we really care about what God thinks and what God says.

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