Integrity – part 1

I think that God longs for integrity and Character in His people.  It is part of the sanctification process He is taking every believer through.

One of my favorite passages in scripture deals with this process is…

James 1:2-8 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

God allows difficulty and trials in our lives because he wants to sanctify us, mature us, and make us more like Jesus.  God wants us to receive His gift of Salvation, but after that happens, He doesn’t just drop us off.  He refines us and stretches us to remove our impurities and make us holy. 

Here are 2 questions we all need to ask ourselves on a regular basis…What is God drawing out of me right now to make me more like Jesus?  What are the things in myself that I know need to change? 

If you have a desire to grow and to be more like Christ…If you have a desire to change the sinful patterns in your life…then I have good news for you.  If you have that desire, God put it there.  And if He put it there, He will accomplish the changes that need to take place.  The desire to change for the better is obviously not from us…there is nothing in our flesh that desires to be more like God.  So if God has placed those desires in us, that means He is going to complete that work. God has really great integrity…and He always finishes what He starts!

Philipians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  

Until the day we leave this earth, God is going to grow us, challenge us, and sanctify us.  All we have to do for that process to take place is to surrender to Him and be obedient.  If we are open to the changes God wants to bring about in us and if we are obedient to hear His voice and respond to His leading…God will empower us to live balanced lives within the boundaries and truth that He has provided for us.  And in doing this He will make us into men and women with integrity.

God is very interested in our integrity.  He wants us to be godly men and women of Character.  One of the best books I have read lately dealt with this subject.  It is Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud.

This book was designed for business professionals, but it spoke a lot of truth to me about the necessity or integrity, character, and effective leadership in the church.

Here is what I learned from the book along with the truths God spoke to me while reading it.

– Ethics are a part of character but not all of it.

– What makes someone a good leader is more than being honest and ethical.  You can have good character but our “personhood”(sinful nature and flaws) can prevent our talents and brains from accomplishing our potential.

Integrity = being a whole and complete person.  Integrity is wholeness and effectiveness.  Jesus wants us to be whole and live effective lives that honor Him and live lives that show others that He has radically saved and changed us.

More on this next week…

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