Geaux Therefore

The Value of Integrity in Ministry

By Jeffrey Farmer

“Farmer! If you don’t get this right, you will do pushups till you can’t anymore! If you don’t, there is no Jesus, cause all I’ve got is my word!” Sgt. Wegman, Marine Recruit Depot, Parris Island

Those words are seared into my brain. My memories of my drill instructor at Parris Island have a funny way of popping up on a regular basis. This particular statement more than any other.

Think about what Sgt. Wegman was saying in this statement. Essentially he was saying that if he did not follow through on his promise, then I could not trust him about anything, including the existence of Jesus. He was saying that living a life of integrity is vital.

Can you imagine sharing the gospel with someone who then discovers you were dishonest about something inconsequential? Why would that person believe what you have to say about the Kingdom of God when you can’t be trusted about trivialities? Baltasar Gracian, the 17thcentury philosopher, stated, “A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.”

In the local church, a minister is often invited to meetings or to participate in some ministry. It can be tempting to make an excuse with a “little white lie” in order to get out of the obligation. However, it is unnecessary to do so. It is okay to say no.

Another common situation is when the minister makes a mistake. It is tempting to make an excuse for the failure, but this comes at great cost. Simply admit your mistake, and strive to do better. You may deal with consequences for your error, but you keep your integrity.

A final situation is the embellished story during the sermon. How ludicrous that a preacher of the gospel would stand before a group of people to share the truth of God’s word and lie at the same time! Proclaiming God’s word is an awesome responsibility. Do not take it lightly.

I am going to finish the post with an encouraging quote from Billy Graham. He said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

My encouragement for you today is to live a life of integrity. You are loved by the Creator of all things. Honor God by emulating Him.