I heard Chuck Swindoll talk about this topic many, many years ago. I don’t know the source. All I know is that it impacted me greatly and I haven’t forgotten it. I’m reminded of this often.
To be an effective leader, you have to have integrity. Psalm 15:1-2 asks a question, “O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart” (NASB).
Integrity is defined this way: 1. Uprightness of character, honesty. 2. The condition or quality of being unimpaired or sound. 3. The state of being complete or undivided. John Maxwell commented on the importance of integrity when he said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
To be a man or woman of integrity is to be whole, integrated, undivided. It’s the opposite of being dis-integrated or broken into separate parts. You can be a leader in government, in education, and in business without integrity. But you can never be a spiritual leader without it.
The apostle Paul wrote to Christian leaders, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock…” (Acts 20:28, NASB). Pastor Chuck Swindoll once warned Christian leaders about falling into sin in the following four areas.
Four areas of life for spiritual leaders to be on guard against…
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does He not see my ways and count my every step?” (Job 31:1-4, NIV).
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (I Thessalonians 4:4, 5; (NASB).
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love” (Proverbs 5:18, 19; NASB).
“Thus says the LORD, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me…'” (Jeremiah 29:23, 24a; NASB).
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Thy name give glory because of Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth” (Psalm 115:1, NASB).
“My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11b, NASB).
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang” (I Timothy 6:9, 10; NASB).
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15, NASB).
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, NASB).
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4, NASB).
“Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10a, NASB).
“He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys” (Proverbs 18:9, NASB).
There you have it. Be on guard in these areas: sex, self, silver, and sloth. Leaders walk the talk. Remember: We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are.