There are few characteristics more important for the pastor than integrity. It damages the church and the lives of many people when a pastor or church leader fails to live with integrity.
In his Daily Hope devotional, Rick Warren recently wrote about what integrity is. Two of his comments stood out for me:
Integrity is authenticity.
During plays in ancient Greek culture, there was one guy who would play multiple roles. He would come onstage wearing a mask and then go backstage to put on a different mask to play another role. This person was called the hupokrites, and it’s where we get the word hypocrite.
When you wear masks so that you appear one way in front of some people and another way for others, it shows a lack of authenticity. God wants you to be exactly who He made you to be, no matter who is watching.
Integrity is unmixed motivation.
It means you do the right thing, and you do it for the right reason. You have unmixed motivation and pure motives. You’re sincere and straightforward in every area of your life and with all people. You pray to talk to God and not to impress other people.
We’re interested in image, but God is interested in integrity. We’re interested in reputation, but God is interested in character. Reputation is what everybody thinks you are. Integrity is what you really are. Reputation is what you are in public. Integrity is what you are when you’re all alone with God. (Subscribe to his daily devotional at www.rickwarren.org.)