By Ken Ellis, Chaplain, LSU & Southern University Football
PSALM 119:1 (Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.)
TITUS 2:7 (And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.)
Integrity is the state of being complete, unified. It binds our inner man together and fosters a spirit of contentment within us. It will not allow our lips to violate our hearts. When integrity is the referee, we will be consistent and our beliefs will be mirrored by our conduct.
Integrity is not only the referee between two desires, it is the pivotal point between a happy person and a divided spirit and it frees us to be whole no matter what comes our way.
81% of what people learn comes through visual stimulation, 10% through audible, and 1% through other senses. The more people see and hear their leader being consistent in action and word, the greater their consistency and loyalty. What they hear, they understand, what they see, they believe.
Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are.
1. Integrity builds trust.
• Dwight Eisenhower said: “In order to be a leader a man must have followers”.
• To have followers, a man must have their confidence.
• The supreme quality for a leader is unquestionably integrity.
• Cavett Roberts said: “If my people understand me, I’ll get their attention, but if they trust me, I’ll get their action.”
• For a man to have the authority to lead, he needs more than the title on his door, he has to have the trust of those who are following him.
A. David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming men who were in trouble or in debt or who were discontented until David was the captain of about 400 men. (1Sam.22:1-2)
B. You follow your pastor and I follow my pastor because we trust them and we trust them because they are men of integrity not perfect.
2. Integrity has high influence value.
• Emerson said, “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man and his character determines the character of the organization.”
• Will Rogers said, “People’s minds are changed through observation and not argument.”
• People do what they see other people doing.
A. Jesus called his 12 disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. (Mt.10:1)
B. Bro. Roy and his influence.
3. Integrity facilitates high standards.
• A leader must live by higher standards than their followers.
• John D. Rockefeller Jr. said, “I believe that every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity an obligation, and every possession a duty.
• Too many people are ready to assert their rights but not to assume their responsibilities.
• When the character of the leader is low so are his standards.
A. Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain you integrity? Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)
B. Job was blameless a man of complete integrity he feared God and stayed away from evil. (Job 1:1)
4. Integrity results in a solid reputation not just image.
• The real measure of a man’s character is what he would do if thinks he will never be found out.
• Life is like a vise and at times it will squeeze us and during those moments of pressure whatever is inside will be found out.
• We cannot give what we do not have.
• Image promises much but produces little, integrity never disappoints.
A. Joseph said, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” (Gen.39:9)
B. The three Hebrew boys. (Dan. 3:16-18)
5. Integrity means living it myself before leading others.
• We can only lead where we’ve been.
• Too many times we are so concerned about the product we try to shortcut the process.
• If the process is right the product will be right.
• There are no shortcuts when integrity is involved.
A. Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes the Jew first and also the Gentile. (Rom.1:16)
B. Paul told Timothy to teach the truths that he had learned from him to other trustworthy people who would be able to pass them on to others. (2 Tim.2:2)
6. Integrity helps a leader be credible not just clever.
• Trust is the conviction that the leader means what he says, it’s called integrity.
• Leaders with integrity don’t have to advertise that fact because it’s visible in everything they do and soon becomes common knowledge to everyone.
• People of integrity expect to be believed because they know time will prove them right and they are willing to wait.
A. Daniel was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. (Dan.6:4)
B. Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wind given to them by the king. (Dan. 1:8)
7. Integrity is a hard won achievement. (JESUS)
• Billy Graham said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together, we must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact, when wealth is lost nothing is lost, when health is lost something is lost, when character is lost all is lost.”
“YOU WILL ONLY BECOME WHAT YOU ARE BECOMING RIGHT NOW”