God does not expect leaders to be perfect, but to be whole. Have you appreciated the enormous difference? To have integrity means to be whole, as in a whole number (an “integer”). Despite his or her human frailties, a leader can effectively guide those who follow.
Psalm 32:8 reminds us that leaders must closely observe the flock for its needs and problems. God expects spiritual leaders to serve as guides. A guide gets a person or group safely to a planned destination. The Hebrew word for “guide” gives us several clues as to what God expects from those He uses as leaders:
A guide is a spiritual head who unites and directs people in their walk with God.
A guide takes people on the straight path that leads to fellowship with God
A guide gives accurate and godly counsel to those who need it
A guide leads with gentleness and trustworthiness, making others feel safe
A guide bases his or her direction on the Spirit & God’s Word
21 Christian Growth Issues in the Bible
I. Bigger on the Inside Leads to Better on the Outside
a. Prov. 11:3
II. Judah’s Promise to Israel
a. Gen. 43:1-5, 8-9
b. Gen. 44:18-34
III. Joshua Has to Make a Choice
a. Joshua 9:1-27
b. Joshua 10:1-11
IV. Weigh Your Words and Your Promises
a. Eccl. 5:1-7
The Moral Glory of Jesus
I. His Moral Perfection When Tempted
a. Heb. 4:15-16
b. Matt. 4:1-11
II. His Moral Glory Meticulously Examined
a. John 8:41-47
b. Matt. 26:59-61
c. Matt. 27:3-4
d. John 19:25-27
e. Acts 3:14
III. The Moral Glory of His Teaching
a. Matt. 7:12
b. Matt. 7:28-29
c. Matt. 22:34-40
d. John 7:32, 45-46
e. John 6:15
f. John 18:36
g. John 14:10
h. Matt. 20:25-28
i. John 10:15-16
j. John 6:15; John 18:36
k. Matt. 20:25-28
l. Acts 5:33, 40-42
Integrity Joshua and the Gibeonites
Joshua compromised his leadership when he made a treaty with the Gibeonites, but once he made a covenant with them, he knew it was his duty to defend them. Integrity means that you keep your oath and “swear to your own hurt” regardless of the cost (see Ps. 15:4).
Why is this so vital? It all comes down to the Law of the Picture:
1. People do what people see. If Joshua failed in his integrity, it would haunt him later.
2. People follow if they trust. If Joshua failed in his integrity, few would trust him later.
3. People return what they’ve received. Joshua was more likely to receive loyalty from the Gibeonites if he demonstrated loyalty to them when it was costly to do so.
Leadership Lessons from the Ant
Do you want to make a difference? Then pay attention to the metaphor of the ant. It’s amazing that one of the smallest of God’s creatures can become one of His greatest teachers. The lessons the ant teaches us can be summarized this way:
A – Attitude of Initiative: Ants need no commander to tell them to start
N – Nature of Integrity: Ants work faithfully and keep doing right
T – Thirst for Industry: Ants work hard replacing their anthill when ruined
S – Source of Insight: Ants store provisions in summer
If we consider and learn from the ways of the ant, we can grow wise!