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Integrity: You Never Know Who is Watching

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By Trent Miller

Trent and five other SEND Ministries interns are living and serving at the Rosedale International Center. As part of their intern training, they prepared speeches on different aspects of leadership. These are Trent’s thoughts on having integrity as a leader.

My father is someone that I see as a person of integrity. Growing up, I noticed how he was always willing to make things right with another person. Whether it was returning the extra money he had received from a store or living out what he was teaching my brother and me. I have always seen him as a man of his word and consistent in his actions. He set an example for me as being one who acts out what he truly believes in his heart.

So what does this word “integrity” mean? The definition of integrity is: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes; wholeness; or the state of being sound. When you think of something being whole or sound you often think of something physical like a pillar, a building or maybe a cake. It is a whole cake, and there are not any gaps in it.

This idea can also be applied to people. Someone who has integrity has this sense of wholeness. They are firm in their lives. If we are to be good leaders we need this foundation in our lives. If we are not consistent in our actions, words, and values, if we don’t have integrity, then we aren’t going to be trusted. How can we be good leaders if we can’t be trusted?

Norm Wakefield said, “When you’re shaken, whatever you’re filled with is what comes out.” So for a while we may be able to fool some by saying the right thing at the right time or doing the right thing at the right time, even if we don’t truly hold these values. Sooner or later though the truth will come out. What we are filled with will come out eventually. "Sooner or later though the truth will come out. What we are filled with will come out eventually."This thought can be a little scary at times, but if we are living with integrity and have this consistency in our lives we have nothing to fear because what is going to come out in those times is not going to be new to those around us.

Integrity is so much more than just being honest. It makes up who we are. Titus 2:7-8 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Paul is telling Timothy that if you have integrity, no one is going to be able to find fault with you.

An example of integrity from the Bible that came to my mind was Job. We know how the story goes. Job was having a pretty great life at the time. He was very blessed and God was taking great care of him. Then things went downhill. He could have just have given up and turned away from God, but he did not. That was not who Job was.

God says in Job 1:8 that Job was a man of perfect integrity. That is pretty crazy. Imagine God saying that about you. Does he say that? I know in my own life probably not so much. In Job 27:2-6, Job is talking to his friend who was trying to get him to just forget about God and to throw it all away and give up. Job tells him that he is not going to do that. He says that he is going to maintain his integrity until he dies and that he will cling to righteousness and never let it go.

Integrity is a choice. Job had a choice to either forget about God and turn from him, or he could choose to maintain his faith. He chose to always keep his integrity. People will see through the front that we can put up if we don’t have this consistency in our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Corrie Ten Boom said, “The world does not read the Bible. It reads you and me. The godly man is the ungodly man’s Bible.”

You never know who is watching you or how your actions may affect them. Integrity is being honest in everything and being consistent in your actions, beliefs, and values. If we are to be effective leaders, then we need to have this consistency. If we don’t, we can’t be trusted. People will not be able to rely on us. So this is my challenge to you and to myself, to have integrity, this consistency in our lives, and to be honest in everything that we do.

Trent is a staff intern at the RIC, working as intercessor. His duties include: spending ten hours in prayer a week, helping design the prayer room and maintaining it, and leading the other interns in group intercession. God is currently teaching him about how he is working and how he wants to include us in his plan. In his free time Trent enjoys disc golfing, watching movies and tv shows, and playing games. Trent is from Riverview Mennonite church in White Pigeon, Michigan.