Thursday, April 19, 2012

Integrity Over Popularity

Principle #6:  Living a Life That Counts:  Seeking Integrity Over Popularity:  Integrity means you have a set of convictions that you live by that can't be bought, sold, traded, ignored, compromised, or forfeited for any reason, up to and including the sacrificing of life itself.  That's the longer definition I came up with, but I still like the one I used last week when integrity was a sub-point. "Integrity is what you are when no one is around, but for Christians, it's what you are because you know God is around."  One of the things that we clearly learned from Jesus was the preeminence of the heart.  What God sees going on in our hearts is far more important than the actions that others see.  Integrity is a heart matter.  In fact, I believe it is a self-esteem matter.  Our integrity is only as strong as our sense of self-worth, so if our self-worth is low, the price for selling out our integrity is low.  When our self-esteem comes from God rather than others, our character is strong and our concerns are for the eternal rather than the social.  Pleasing God is the ultimate satisfaction in life, and it helps us honor grace while it empowers us for godly living.
What are some of the elements of integrity?
1. Integrity is having clear values (David is a good example of having and not having them, as he refused to kill God's anointed, but was clueless about Bathsheba & Uriah until Nathan 1 Sam.24-26; and 2 Sam.11-12)
2. Integrity is honesty  (real honesty begins with our relationship with God - all else will follow)
3. Integrity is consistency  (Totally God's, everywhere - no exceptions - i.e. Peter)
4. Integrity is peace  (Not so much an element as a result.  Package deal - Phil.4:4-7)
5. Integrity is a sense of God's presence  (It's the how & why of integrity.  An authentic relationship with God is when we are totally aware of his presence. Acts 17:28)
Conclusion:  We are on a journey of deepening our relationship with our God so He truly becomes our "Abba Father."

No comments: