Have you ever been told “Do as I say, not as I do!” when I was a teen it made me mad. I still don’t like it when leaders think there is a different set of rules for themselves than the rules for the people they lead. In 1Corinthians 11:1 Paul let’s us know that leaders should be examples by writing “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” The starting place for any leader is to give themselves a check-up from the neck up and examine their integrity.
Integrity is uprightness of character. It’s honesty. It’s lining up with God’s Word. For people with integrity, their word is their bond. When they say they’ll do something, they do it. Promises matter. And what they say they believe is reflected in their actions.
To lead in ministry you don’t have to be right all the time—which is a relief for me, because I flunked the perfection test a long time ago. But you do need to give up the desire to have people think you’re always right.
Admit it: you like having people think you’re right. It’s just human, especially when we’re leaders. We think it builds confidence in the troops when they see us make decisions and stick to our guns.
Except we aren’t always right. We’re wrong a lot. And people don’t admire leaders who are too proud or scared to admit they don’t know it all.
When you’re willing to let others know you—the real you—then you’ll have integrity. But if your leadership depends on people not knowing what you believe, or what you do when you’re flipping through the cable channels or surfing the net, then you’ll never be an effective leader.
You’ve got to get your own house in order before trying to lead others. Are you willing to be a leader who doesn’t just talk about integrity but lives it?