Writing In Partnership With God has reminded me of the importance of being a person of Integrity!!!
Everything I write is first read by my wife of 46 years, Sally Jo. She knows most of the details of my life better than I do. Everything I write is being read by at least one of our children. Almost every week I receive an e-mail from one or more people who were part of the experience I have just written about. And the reality is that everything that I write or even think is also known by God.
The good part of this is…I must be who I am. If not, I will not be respected by my family, other people, or God.
Living In Partnership With God requires me to a person of Integrity. I work at being a person of integrity!
But in reality I am a person of imperfect integrity. My pride can become more important than my integrity.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Being a person of integrity requires admitting before God and the people involved my failure to be such a person. This is why I must confess and repent of my sins to God and to the people with whom I have not been “real”. Part of this process is to turn from what I have been doing – to change – to become more like Jesus Christ.
As I admit my failures, people are inclined to forgive me. God will forgive me! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
My challenge to be a person of Integrity will never stop! God knows my heart! Some of you do too!
Jesus Christ invited men to become as family to Him. These men were His disciples, and they knew the public Jesus and the private Jesus. They heard what Jesus said – and how He lived out His very own words. Not surprisingly, Jesus was seen to be a person of Integrity.
Our challenge is to represent Jesus Christ to the people around us. Christianity = Christ-like. “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2: 1, 2, 5.
Last week I mentioned the young organist, Chris Philips. Chris said in an e-mail “other than my parents, you were the most formative person in my life”. How did this happen? In many ways Chris became like family to us. Chris knew who we were in our home, in his home, and at church. He heard what I said from the pulpit and could check the validity of my application of God’s word against what he was observing, what he was experiencing.
Today, Chris, like me, lives as a person of imperfect integrity. The authenticity of his heart has been recognized by those in the congregation that he serves as pastor…and by God who has richly blessed, guided, provided for his ministry.
I want to live In Partnership With God…and being a person of integrity is a part of His program!