INTEGRITY: LIVING A LIFE WORTHY OF IMITATION.
This value is critical to our ability to lead our everyday people to new life and new possibilities. Without integrity, our words become empty, and our intentions seem hollow.
John Maxwell says that, “Leadership is influence.”
When who we are doesn’t line up with what we say, we forfeit the opportunity to influence and impact those around—they simply won’t listen, and if they do listen, they won’t care.
Influence: “The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.”
Capacity: “The maximum amount that something can contain. The ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.”
Where does this capacity come from? How do we develop/cultivate/increase our capacity to influence and lead our everyday people?
IT STARTS WITH INTEGRITY.
When we live lives worthy of imitation, we develop and cultivate our capacity to influence our everyday people, gaining the right and permission to lead them to new life and new possibilities.
Our lack of integrity comes at a cost.
“Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.”
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
-Jesus (John 13:15)
“You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”
-Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1)
It’s as if Paul is saying,
“If you want to live a godly life, do as I do.”
I wonder if we can say that about our lives?
“If you want to live and grow spiritually, live like I live.”
“If you want your life to be one of focusing on others, live like me.”
“If you want to experience wholeness in your life, follow my example.”
"If you want to experience the value of biblical community, do what I've done."
"If you want to experience fruit of exercising stewardship, follow my lead."
Too often we say just the opposite.
Philippians 2:12-15 – “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God (above reproach), shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”
God isn’t giving us just the desire to do what pleases Him, but also the power.
We can become people of integrity. We can live lives worthy of imitation.
Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
- Stop making promises, especially ones you can't keep.
- Learn to say, “I’m sorry” and “I made a mistake”.
- Put your money where your mouth is—Be generous.
- Do the next thing.
- Make time in your day for Christ.
- Model what it means to trust that Christ is sufficient for every area of life.
- Take the “This is LIFE” measures and start asking the question, “Am I …?”
- Develop accountable relationships.
These things set us on the right path as we pursue living a life worthy of imitation, but we still have to deal with our secret life. We have to reconcile who we say we are with how we actually live.
This is why wholeness is so important.
Much of our integrity breakdown occurs because we turn to other things in search of wholeness, not trusting the Christ is sufficient for every area of my life.
When we come to the place where we realize and believe deep within our souls that Christ is sufficient for every area of my life, we can stop our search for wholeness, knowing it is Christ who makes me whole.