The first crisis the early church confronted was a crisis of integrity. In the book of Acts, a married couple named Ananias and Sapphira pretend to sell their property and give all that money to the church. The reality, however, was they kept back part of it. They pretend to be something on the outside that they are not on the inside. And God’s immediate and drastic judgment falls on them. The apostle Peter, the leader of the church, sees this lack of integrity as an invasion of the powers of darkness into their community of the Holy Spirit. He knows the power of the Spirit will be quenched without truth and integrity. Thus, he calls it out. I have rushed through areas of my leadership more times than I want to remember. I have avoided meetings I knew would be hard. I have skimmed on truth when it was uncomfortable. I have preferred. Read more.
One of the most important tasks for us as leaders is to keep our roles and souls connected. How much of your life is divided or involves pretending? How much of your life is wearing other people’s faces? Ananias and Sapphira were disconnected internally and, for all intents and purposes, stopped the great move of God in the book of Acts (see Acts 5:1-11). How do we live faithfully to our God-given, true selves when enormous pressure comes at us to put on a “pretend” self? In this message on “The Holy Spirit and Your Integrity,” I unpack this theme. At the end of this message I talk about our need for 3 things: 1. Space. We need times of letting go of our roles and our work life in order to listen deeply to our true selves in God. Nobody can do that inner work for us. 2. Suffering. Richard Rohr reminds us that. Read more.