LEADING WITH INTEGRITY – My Word, My Bond
By Clarence Bradbury
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them – Psalm 78:72
There’s more to integrity than being a good person. In the previous article we focused primarily on moral and spiritual aspects of integrity. We also pointed toward a broader meaning; namely, behaving in a consistent manner over time, meeting agreed commitments and following through on our word, or promises. In other words, integrity is seen in the integration of everyday functions of life and leadership. It becomes visible in the way our character traits work together to produce God-honoring results. It shows up as practical holiness, purity of heart applied to every aspect of the leadership task. Personal holiness is authenticated when it appears consistently in the attitudes and actions of daily life.
Look at the example of King David. His integrity of heart and skill of hand do not suggest two separate features of this leader. Here is a picture of holy wisdom fully engaged in the service of others. Various translations reflect this. The Message states, His good heart made him a good shepherd. He guided the people wisely and well. The CEV puts it this way; David treated the people fairly and guided them with wisdom. So we see the good heart of a good shepherd practicing good guidance. The original meaning of this verse points to “the perfection of his heart” and “the understanding of his hands” (compare Psalm 144:1 “Blessed is Jehovah my rock, who is teaching my hands for war, my fingers for battle”). Integrity is the harmonious operation of head, heart and hand, engaged with excellence in the service of Christ for the glory of His name and the benefit of others.
Now, let’s apply all this with six solid truths and six tough questions.
- Integrity means my word is my bond. This has been the motto of the London Stock Exchange since 1801 (“dictum meum pactum” – no documents required to establish trust). http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+12%3A22&version=MSG;CEV Is my word my bond of authenticity?
- Integrity is worth more than material wealth. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+28:6&version=NASB;CEB Do I sacrifice my stated values for monetary gain for myself or the organization?
- Integrity means being fair and honest in my dealings with people. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2016:11-13&version=NASB;MSG Am I always above-board? Do I expect others to give me the facts or only what I want to hear?
- Integrity means doing the right thing no matter the cost. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=job%202:%203,9&version=NASB Do my values adapt to suit the circumstances; ie, am I a thermometer or a thermostat?
- Integrity means I live with trust in God’s protection. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2025:21&version=NASB;MSG Do I really believe God will ultimately come through for me, as I trust and hope in Him?
- Integrity means avoiding corruption, no matter what. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20corinthians%2015:33&version=NASB;PHILLIPS Do I nurture relationships that bring out the best in me, or am I too easily influenced toward duplicity?