Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Consitency and Integrity
Jesus thought differently. He said that if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones too. By implication, you will not be faithful in the big things if you are not faithful in the little ones. The same is true, according to Jesus, when it comes to honesty. He even connects stewardship of financial resources with taking care of God’s riches.This, frankly, is one of my biggest beefs with how we do church these days. Staff seems to have on/off buttons. Uber-Christians when turned on and like the rest of us, or sometimes worse when turned off. That does not make sense to me - it makes being a a Christian seem like a performance at best and a lie at worst.
Jesus helps us to understand that we are not meant to live splintered lives. How we live in private cannot be distinct from how we live in public. We are called to a life of consistent integrity, consistent wholeness, consistent living no matter the context. Of course, we will all fail at times in our effort to live this way. But our failures do not mean the vision of Jesus is wrong. They mean, rather, that we must confess them to the Lord and ask him to help us live each moment in a way that honors him and serves the interests of his kingdom.
Not only does each believer need to struggle for consistent integrity, but leadership especially needs to. Instead of worrying about looking good, we need to worry about looking like we are improving. Yes, to be in leadership means you are a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to your maturity level, but maturity for sinners such as ourselves is measured less in mistakes and more in how we handle mistakes.
Recently, a private conversation that I had with someone was reported in a publication. Prior to publication, the editor came to me to make sure the writer had permission to make the report. I understand the journalistic necessity of such a request, but found it interesting. Why would I say something to someone that I did not want everyone to hear? This did not even involve saying anything hurtful or even controversial.
I think that makes an interesting guideline - live every day as if it were going to be published. it will certainly create consistent integrity.