Loss of Integrity: Abandonment of Values

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1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1

David, King of Israel, seems to have had “loving kindness / steadfast love” (hesed) as one of his deep defining values. When he lived divided from this heart value, he drifted and then moved swiftly into disaster.  When he lived close to it we observe him as a diligent shepherd, loyal friend, inspirational leader, and a shrewd king. When he got away from the most noble values formed by God in his character, David fails, commits breathtaking and callus acts of corrupted power, lust, murder, and deceit. (2 Samuel 11 – 12)

When David came to his senses and repented, he relied on God’s, as He is the true uncorrupted One of “loving kindness.”

How is it with you? What are the most noble values rooted deep in your story and heart? Are you living close to them? Have you come to moment in your life when your loss of integrity drives you to the Cross of Jesus for healing and forgiveness?

O God, Have mercy on me, according to your lovingkindness!

Everything I’m wearing today…

Everything I’m wearing today was made somewhere else.

Last night all the food on my table, was grown somewhere else.

I’m not a king, but I’m living like one.

Someone else laboured.

Somebody’s mother, father, son, or daughter

planted seeds, ran a machine, and bent their back

against the weight of their own need to produce.

I thank God for them.  That’s not a ruse–

My kids look up from the table every time I say,

“Thank you Lord for the men and women who grew this food.”

But I am concerned too.  I don’t feel all that Joe Fresh.

A collapsed factory building in Bangladesh

has crashed into my conscience.

I grieve with hundreds of affected families today.

Work is not the problem.

Calloused negligence and care-less-ness ignored reality.

This was not just an accident.

No integrity.

Henry Cloud has called integrity the courage to meet the demands of reality.

Every leader and company creates a wake.  God sees.  We see.

6Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?

7The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.

8When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.

9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?

10False weights and unequal measures—the Lord detests double standards of every kind.  Proverbs 20:6-10

Talk with the Lord about this:  In your circle of influence:

What kind of wake am I leaving behind?

What cracks am I ignoring?

Whose life am I treating as less than?

 

Don’t Buy The Lie

Scripture:  1 Peter 2:6-8

6For it stands in Scripture:  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”  7So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Observations:

In the Scripture God says He has a plan that involves His people of Israel, “Zion” — to lay down a chosen and precious cornerstone.  Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.  There is honour for those who believe.

Even though they others reject God’s chosen One, He will still become the “cornerstone” from whom their lives will be evaluated.  For those who do not believe in God’s cornerstone this “person” becomes a stumbling block; for they disobey God’s word.

Application:

The “cornerstone” is an architectural term.  The cornerstone becomes the reference point for the whole building.  What are you building?  A life?  A family?  A career?  An organization?  A nation?

Our culture brings tremendous pressure for the person of faith to live an unintegrated life.  Our culture treats faith as an appendix that should be surgically removed if it seems to cause us too much trouble. There is a temptation for leaders (Perhaps you don’t think of yourself as a leader, but you are;  the most difficult person for you to lead is yourself.) to make decisions seeking honour and some kind of vision of success without looking to Jesus.

If we buy the lie we will stumble over Christ and find that we are offended by Him.  We are so taken by the beauty of our own lofty visions that we stumble over the rough stone  on the ground right in front of us.

Seek the grace to obey His Word, and live your life with the confession “Jesus is Lord” as the reference for all the designs of your life.  We need the Joseph Principle(See the story of Joseph in Exodus), to trust that character forged through persistent obedience to God is the better payoff.  Looking to Jesus as the cornerstone of my life creates a longview and protects me from the seduction of short-term gains bought through rejection of Jesus and His ways.

Prayer:  

Heavenly Father have mercy on me.  Extend my view of life by giving me the grace to trust Jesus today.  He is the cornerstone of my faith and my life.  AMEN.

your personal needs are fuel for temptation

Sunday at Cityview in the Integrity Test series we explored another reality that we have in common with Jesus:  temptation.  The text was Luke 4:1-13.  There we see Satan tempting Jesus by tapping into His personal needs.  You can listen to the message at the Cityview site later this week.  The notes are below:

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The Big Idea:  Your personal needs are fuel for temptation.

 

1.    Temptation is not sin.  It is a reality of the spiritual life.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  Luke 4:1-2

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Ephesians 6:11, 16

 

2. When you have become a follower of Jesus, temptation is about making you un-godly, less trusting of God, less useful to God, and less influential in the kingdom of God.

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21
 

3.  Temptation targets our “neediness” in order to displace our devotion to Jesus.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.    James 1:13-15

Jesus’ Needs               His Response
vs. 2        Hunger            Trust God for provisions.
vs. 5-6    Success           Worship God & serve Him only.
vs. 9-12  Significance  Don’t test God to prove you matter to Him.

 

4.  Temptation can be defeated.

 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

Our Needs                The Way
Physical                       Choose dependence & trust on/in Jesus.
Finances & Time       Choose devotion to Jesus & His Kingdom.
Emotional                   Choose dedication to Jesus’ ways.

Jesus passed the integrity test in regard to temptation, over and over and over.  You and I do not.  We need a Saviour to give us grace.  We need to repent of what has become habituated patterns of sin in the realm of temptation.  We need His strength to face temptation daily.

We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

 

 

     

 

 

integrity workshop–this saturday at Cityview

integrity-eventIntegrity matters.  Just imagine what life would be like if the people, buses, cars, airplanes, homes, computers you depended on had no integrity.  What if they could not handle reality?  What about you?  Can you meet the demands of reality.  I have been ruminating on Henry Cloud’s work on Integrity for over a year now and find the material relevant for my own character and leadership development.  My family and the organizations I lead in expect integrity.  They need me to create and maintain trust, face the truth, work to create results, deal with the negative, make things grow, and live with a transcendent orientation.

I am looking foward to spending part of Saturday with leaders from around the City in an exploration of Henry Cloud’s work Integrity:  the courage to meet the demands of reality; How Six Essential Qualities Determine Your Success in Business.  We will use a DVD presentation created by Cloud to highlight the 6 qualities.  It will be an interactive time between leaders.  And, we will have three local speakers:  a bank manager, a school principle, and the CEO and founder of a local company.

See you Saturday at 9:30 AM at Cityview.