Integrity: Who Needs It?

Just what is integrity and why does it seem so important? At a time when a major American university addresses the issues of personal integrity with their basketball coach, the issue is raised why is integrity a concern? Articles have been written and pundits have opined that all coaches bend the rules to a limited extent so why focus so heavily on one.

In an age in which relativism is the guiding principle, the question of integrity is valid. However, if one holds to a mindset of truth, then integrity is a key foundational principle of this mindset. In observing the dilemma between a high profile coach at a school which expects championship caliber competition, and the ruling body which operates from a system of absolutes, then issues surface.

Integrity is one's consistency of action with what one believes without regard to circumstances. Relativism is one's actions consistent with what seems appropriate at a given time. These are two significantly worlds apart in their views of life.

From the perspective of this author, truth is a principle from which one operates their life and makes their decisions. Truth can not be altered by circumstances, although, it may be viewed differently by various persons. Death is a truth that can not be altered, all people will die. One can not take a relativistic view of death but one can put death in their own perspective.

The solar system functions from principles set in motion and is not relative. At the same time we observe that their are influences within this system. As an example solar storms affect weather on earth, however; these influences do not alter the truth by which the system operates.

This same principle seems applicable to integrity. If a person maintains a public personae of integrity but is unfaithful oe untruthful to his or her spouse, how do you know that they are above reproach in their public dealings? Integrity matters. Without integrity relationships crumble, trust erodes, and people isolate themselves because of fear in dealing with people. A person whose integrity is untarnished is a person who gains the respect, trust, and confidence of others.


They Will Know by Our Love

The concept of church has been around since the time of Christ and many concepts have been proposed as to what constitutes church. The Greek word which is translated as church means to “assembly” and “to be called out”.
Thus, a church would be an assembly of people who are called from the general population. Most of us may see this as a rudimentary definition of “church” and we would place additional explanations to define church.
In developing a concept of church, the logical starting point would be the “Bride (or Body) of Christ”. Within the confines of the basic definition of church it would then be an assembly which is called together for the purpose of being married to Christ.
This viewpoint is contingent upon grasping the implications of what constitutes a good marriage. Since we know that Christ is to be the head of the church, then it seems logical that Christ would be the lead partner and we would be the one who follows. This is consistent with Christ accepting the leadership of the Father as the Father sent the Son into the world.
While one cannot comprehend the fellowship which exists within the Triune God, the picture presented in Scripture defines an intimacy within the Godhead which is unattainable without Divine participation. As the Bride of Christ, the church should enter into this fellowship. Not only should the vertical fellowship be present, believers with the Godhead, but also should be horizontal, believers with other believers.
This fellowship is consistent with the statement of Jesus that people will know that we are Christians by our love. It makes little difference of all the add-ons that we use to describe the church, if we are not demonstrating love and fellowship; then we miss a key component of what it means to be a part of the Bride of Christ.


Tomorrow Isn't Here Yet

It is incredible how many people are inclined to worry about events days, weeks, or possibly even months in the future. As I spent time with an individual who has a number of medical issues, the doctors had significant concerns in performing a "routine" hernia procedure. While this concern is of course necessary in litigious society, as the events unfolded, the surgery was simple, unaffected by the remaining health issues.

This has been a reminder that tomorrow never arrives and many of the items which occupy my mind with worrry prove to be nothing more than a waste of time. The lesson is reiterated, take no thought about tomorrow for today will have enough challenges. If I live in the present and address the opportunities that I have, I will have a clear mind to confront the items that face me if and when they arise.


Opinions Are ONLY Opinions

I can not help but chuckle at the pundits who had all but crowned the New England Patriots as the Super Bowl Champions. This would have been an incredible achievement as they would have been only the second National Football League (NFL) team to accomplish an undefeated season along with winning the Championship game.

Political "experts" have picked the candidates who they were sure were going to win various of the state primaries held in the United States. On more than one occasion they have missed the mark with their prognostication.

Opinions are nothing more than one person's idea about how an event will turn out. As people attempt to pigeon hole other people, we must remember there will always be naysayers about what one can accomplish. Do not give extensive thought to what others would opine but rather work diligently to fulfill your dreams.