January 12, 2009

Image or Integrity?

I really enjoy my work. I love working with students and their families and volunteers as well. I get so much pleasure from seeing students take their next step toward Christ, and at Grace we are seeing that every week! 

One of the things I do to prepare for Sunday talks is to read a variety of books. This week I was reading in a leadership book and I came across a statement that I thought was quite profound. "Image is what people think we are. But integrity is what we really are."

This statement was a challenge to me and I hope it will be to you as well. You have heard the saying "image is everything" right? I believe too many Christians and especially Christian leaders are too concerned with image over integrity. Here are three quick ways* you can find out if you are concerned with image or integrity.

1. Consistency- are you the same person no matter who you are with?

2. Choices- do you make decisions that are best for others when another choice would benefit you?

3. Credit- are you quick to recognize others for their efforts and contribution to your success.

Many times people work so much on their image, that it collapses over the massive void that is between who they say they are and who they really are. As your student director, I couldn't care less what your image is. My heart is that you desire integrity (who you are at home and who you are when no one is looking). 

So, if you are coming to Grace for an image boost, please stay in bed. If you are not interested in growing in integrity, tell your parents you want to stay home. I want teenagers coming to Grace who are committed to working on their integrity not a "Christian" image. It's so easy for us to pretend, but you aren't fooling God.

So ask yourself the question. What am I really concerned with, image or integrity? 

* from John Mawell's book "Developing the Leader Within You"