In part one of our series: Marks of a Gospel-centered Leader we looked at the mark #1: Identity. Today we move to mark #2: Integrity.
Integrity (what we do) flows from identity (who we are). Leaders are to lead with Christ-like integrity.
Gospel-centered integrity is a consistent commitment to Christ-like character.
Think of integrity as identity manifested or “fleshed out” in belief or action. It implies both reliability and dependability. Integrity matters. For example, when a building is constructed the structural integrity is essential in order to avoid total collapse. I have seen very few leaders fall due to lack of talent and ability but I have sadly seen many leaders fall due to a lack of personal integrity. Jesus calls his followers to live with the highest degree of integrity.
Matthew 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Another way of understanding and defining integrity is “self- leadership”. Essentially to possess integrity is to consistently lead yourself in accordance with Gospel-informed ethics.
Integrity is not an act but is habits of godliness born out of deep Gospel-convictions.
What does this look like in our daily lives as leaders?
- Tell the truth.
- Own your mistakes
- Do everything with excellence for the glory of God.
Again, integrity is born out of deep convictions about who we are in Christ and what He has called us to do. This is why the link between identity and integrity is so vital to grasp. Leaders who are shaky in their identity in Christ will struggle to live with Christ-like integrity. Ultimately, like identity, integrity is usually (but not always) difficult to see in the life of a leader, and is typically only revealed over long periods of time. It is in the unseen, seemingly insignificant decisions to be like Jesus when no one is looking that integrity is revealed in the life of a leader.
A couple of questions to consider:
Q1: Follow-through: do you complete what you start?
Q2: Faithfulness: Is there long term patterns of faithfulness and honesty in your words and actions?