I'm reading through Integrity - Leading with God watching with a local pastor who is graciously making time in his busy schedule to correct, challenge, exhort, rebuke and encourage this arrogant young jerk. It's sobering reading - I've grown up in an ecclesiastical tradition which is high on abstraction and low on application. Integrity is quite the opposite: Jonathan writes with remarkable clarity as he highlights my favourite sins and failures, as well as the ones I hadn't even noticed. And rather than leaving me wallowing in a soup of navel-engrossed self-pity, he is challenging, insightful and hopeful in his application.
I've actually overcome my natural reverence of books and antipathy towards marking them in anyway and every chapter thus far has sentences underlined and notes in the margin. It's that good. And that relevant.A few choice quotes thus far:
- Integrity, then, means a coherence in every area of life. (p19)
- When leaders at any level fail to live with integrity, the fallout is deadly serious. It poisons community, destroys trust, torpedoes a coherent and unified mission and, most seriously of all, betrays the cause of Christ's gospel and dishonours the God whom we serve. But when Christian leaders live their words, keep their promises, serve their community - in short, show us Jesus Christ - then Christian community is built and Christian mission in enhanced. (p20)
- Sincerity, consistency and reliability: failure to demonstrate integrity in these ways is quite possibly the most serious obstacle to any form of Christian ministry and, indeed, in the growth of God's work (p34)
- the greatest motivation to live a life of integrity arises from a sense of gratitude. (p36)
Buy. Read. Apply.