WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 1)

WHY IS THERE AN INTEGRITY AND VALUE CRISIS IN OUR LEADERSHIP?

Davis Byars Sr. A real family leader (Photo by Pastor Davis) This is my Dad, he is 95 years old and he has always been a true leader of our family. With a sound mind and good physical health, he is still the leader of our family.

Why is there so much turmoil at the top of our families, our churches, and our government? It appears that we have lost our moral compasses. We no longer live by the values that Jesus taught us. Fathers, who are the head of our families, are failing at an alarming rate. The church leadership is leading God’s people astray. In addition, we have our government leaders that are in total flux, they do not know which way is up or which way is down.  It is almost like the blind leading the blind, and we all are going round and round.  Where will it all ends?

Jesus warned us against doing the right things for the wrong reasons, things such as trying to develop integrity only because it would advance our career or help us to close a deal. Jesus called people who practiced this kind of morality “hypocrites.” Notice that he used this word three times in (Matthew 6:2,5,16 verses). Three times people are cited for violating their integrity by doing something only for the appearance. How excited would you be about doing business with people like this? In today’s marketplace, it appears that some of our leaders believe, that when no one is looking, they can do anything they choose to do, and get away with it.  What they failed to understand, is that God sees all, and know all things. Our God is a God who sits high and looks low. Anything that a person may do in the dark will come into the light eventually.

Therefore, the essence of hypocrisy (lack of integrity) is public-dependent behavior.  It is acting one-way while people are watching and another when alone. Typically this is not the kind of person most parents would want their daughter to marry; nor is this the kind of leader who inspires dedicated followers.

Jesus key to integrity is that his followers will live their lives by the standard of their unchanging, present heavenly father. Resist the temptation to dance to every vendor’s tune; instead, march to the steady beat set by our Almighty God.

Integrity involves living by one standard and for the approval of one judge. People come and go, and their standards are fickle. Trying to please all of them will at best drive you nuts and at worst turn you into a hypocrite. Nevertheless, God is unchanging and always present. Living for Him is foundational to integrity, and it reaps an eternal reward.

In order for today’s leaders to begin to lead in the right direction, they must go back to the core principles of Jesus teaching on integrity, and values. Now allow me the opportunity to define for our leaders, the first step of what their core values should be.  Until they understand, what it means to be equipped with core values, such as trying to steer their ship with no rudders. Vision, mission, strategy and outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, until values are clear. Jesus knew that; and in the process of developing His team off disciples, he forced them to confront this foundational issue.

Jesus urged his disciples to focus their values on things that would bear and eternal return. However, how, by making a living on Earth, while responsibly leading an enterprise on earth, while providing jobs, products, service and profit on Earth; do we build treasures in heaven? Whose nod of approval matters most? Who defines what really matters?

Jesus told his disciples that the core value, the driving value, that eternal value is this: “does what I am doing please God?”Every other value is second to that one. When that value is in place all other values line up.

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. Those are motivational, they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive, they placed boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.

King David demonstrated value driven behavior in Psalms 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart.” Because this person’s values truth and his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he does his neighbor no wrong. Because he values honesty, he keeps his oath even when it hurts. Because he values justice, he does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said, “They would never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.

As you reflect on the Psalms, considering what values drove the psalmist behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal; to more completely integrate God’s values into your professional and personal life.

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