Living with integrity, whether you are in your twenties or seventies, is no small task. In this podcast, I lay the foundation for a leader’s integrity by discussing four critical areas:
1. Integrity with God. Throughout church history, one of the seven deadly sins was described as sloth. This referred not just to laziness, but to busyness with the wrong things. We are overly active because we cannot bear the effort demanded by a life of solitude with God. The Desert Fathers had no patience for activism, even godly activity, unless it was nourished by a rich interior life with God. They repeatedly warned about being engaged in activity for God before the time is ripe.
2. Integrity with Yourself. Leadership in the church can do violence to your soul. When we give to others out of our emptiness, we are of little value to those we serve. One of our greatest challenges is to manage ourselves. For example, how can I be in communion with other people if I am not in communion with myself? How can I be in a healthy relationship with others if I am not in healthy relationship with myself? How can I be intimate with you if I am not intimate with me?
3. Integrity in Your Marriage/Singleness. The best leadership and denominational conferences, along with our seminaries and schools, do not train us how to have marriages, or a singleness, that taste and point to heaven. We mistakenly assume a great marriage or singleness will happen naturally if we work for God. It does not.
4. Integrity in Your Leadership. Because I had too many things to do, I rushed a lot. I sometimes avoided meetings I knew would be hard. I skimmed on “truth” when it was uncomfortable. I preferred to not ask difficult questions or speak up when something was clearly wrong. I didn’t give myself the time needed to prayerfully get clear on goals and agendas of meetings. This eventually caught up with me after years of failures and frustrations. It eventually catches up with everyone.
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