Wanted: Men Of Integrity

Wanted:

Men Of Integrity

“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:3)

Oxford English Dictionary defines “integrity” as “The state of being honest, upright, sincere.” The Hebrew root word denotes, “whole, sound, unimpaired.” Wouldn’t be great to have leaders like that? These leaders would be honest, upright, sincere, and whole. The Bible abounds with example of men of integrity. We will look at a few of these men in this lesson.

Biblical Examples of Men of Integrity

Ø Paul was a man of integrity. He was able to say that he had “lived in all good conscience before God…” (Acts 23:1) He was rewarded for his integrity with a slap in the mouth. (23:2)

Ø Job was another man of integrity. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3)

Even his wife recommended that he forget about his integrity. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.” (Job 2:9)

Job experienced many trials but still decided, “…till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” (Job 27:5)

Ø The Psalmist David believed that he should be a man of integrity. “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.” (Psalms 25:21)

Ø Joseph was another man of integrity. He had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Potiphar’s wife. She found him quite desirable.

“…His master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:7-9)

Integrity – A Must For Leaders

The Apostles decided that seven deacons should be chosen to wait on tables. One of the qualifications was that they would have to be men of “honest report.” Later Paul told Timothy, “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” (1 Timothy 3:10)

Deacons were to be men that had been proved and lived a blameless life. They had to be men of integrity. This does not happen over night. It takes time.

Pastors, elders, and bishops also had to be men of integrity (blameless.) Integrity seems to be a qualification for anyone in leadership.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;” (1 Timothy 3:2)

“If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;” (Titus 1:6-7)

“When good people are promoted, everything is great, but when the bad are in charge, watch out!” (Proverbs 28:12 The Message)

Temptations in Christian Service

Temptations in Christian service usually take place in the following areas:

Finance:

Leaders must be careful in matters of finance. There needs to be proper accountability of funds and complete honesty. This will cause others to trust the leader. Leaders need to be faithful in their financial obligations in the community and in the church. Be careful to fulfill the vows and pledges that you make. Make sure that you do not rob God in the paying of your tithes. Judas’ integrity was bought for thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15) Ananias and Sapphira lost their integrity and their lives in Acts 5.

Poverty brings about many temptations but we must be men of integrity.

Relationships With the Opposite Sex:

This is another area of temptation. It is the cause of many leaders falling into sin and ruining their ministry. Paul gives the best advice, “Flee fornication!” (1 Corinthians 6:18) Run from it!

When this temptations sets in we need to be like Joseph. He responded, “…How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

Every day Potiphar’s wife continued to tempt Joseph. Joseph finally, “…left his garment in her hand, and fled…” (Genesis 39:12)

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.” (Proverbs 6:32-33)

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) Be careful who you touch. Be careful who you look at. Do not be alone with a person of the opposite sex (unless it is your wife).

Power:

Leaders have not been called to be Big Men; Lords of God’s heritage.

“Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3)

“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)

Truth - Honesty:

At times leaders may also be tempted to protect themselves by not telling the truth. It is important to be a man of our word(s). We should always do what we say that we will do. We should always speak the truth and never lie.

“…All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…” (Revelation 21:8)

Adversity, Trials, and Problems:

Problems will cause leaders to want to find a comfortable way to escape. We must stand our ground without compromise. Martin Luther said, “Here I stand. I can do no other.”

Daniel is a classic example of integrity. He continued to pray three times a day even when it meant being thrown into a lion’s den.

The three Hebrew children refused to compromise and worship an idol. They knew that the result would be their being thrown into the fiery furnace.

Study Questions

1. What is meant by the word, “integrity”? ____________________

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2. What reward did Paul receive (in Acts 23:2) for his life of integrity?

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3. Why did Joseph refuse to lie with Potiphar’s wife? _________________

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4. Job experienced many trials but still decided? ______________________

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5. Show using the Scripture that “integrity” is a qualification for deacons and other church leaders. __________

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6. What are some of the areas of temptation in Christian service?

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7. How can leaders maintain integrity with finances? __________________

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8. How can leaders deal with the temptations concerning the opposite sex? __________________________

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