Breaking News…”Misremembering” And The Quest For Integrity

Brian Williams has been suspended from NBC this week.
Longtime NBC anchorman was challenged by others within the media world as to the substance of his “encounters” while reporting on the Iraq war in 2003.  His “misremembering” of specific details has left some scratching their heads while others calling for his immediate termination.  Whether intentional or not, the fallout of “misremembering” at the journalistic level will undoubtedly have consequences.

Similarly, within the Christian world “misremembering” and/or inconsistencies of witness will also undoubtedly have consequences!  Like those who report the news nationally and internationally, Christians leaders are looked up to.  They provide other Christians and would-be believers vital information, sources of hope, and godly direction.  Integrity and honesty should be a given, although there have been some who have fallen from grace over the years. swaggart

The witness of Christians can become greatly devalued when inconsistencies and misremembering takes place.  What good is it to speak of love and grace and even Jesus when suddenly we misremember how we are to treat other people?  What good are these Christian qualities when our actions and attitudes do not resemble our words?  Worse yet, what good is it to go to church and sing all the right songs and pray all the right prayers only to walk out of those doors and resemble anything but a Christ follower in our unhealthy habits, speech and actions?

Do we run the risk of running empty on integrity when we misremember how we are to be as Christians?  You bet we do!  The unfortunate consequences of lack of integrity as people of faith is that we will lead people away from God. Why would people want to seek out Christ when His very own followers do not practice what they preach?

Two things happen when we live within the “misremembered” and dishonest walk of “faith”

hypo1. Our Christian witness is compromised, phony and detremental to others who are ACTUALLY living as God has called the faithful to live.  We are not only ruining the chances of potential new believers coming to the faith, but we are making it even harder on other believers who are living lives of integrity.   It only takes a few rotten apples to ruin the whole bunch.  When others look at the church they will mostly likely first see the rotten ones.  We must be aware of our witness to others…it matters THAT much!

2.  Our personal faith and growth will be stuntedstunted
…from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.”  (James 3:10-12)
Living a dishonest life within the realms of faith will inevitably shortchange our potential maturity and growth.  We cannot live this way.  As James puts it “this ought not be this way“.   We jeopardize not only the Christian witness to others, but we tarnish our own paths and limit what God can do through us by living this way.   Living a “misremembered” life that lacks integrity is cheap and unfortunately more common than not.  Dare I say that Christ has called us to live the uncommon life that is full of integrity, love and obedience!

BrianLet’s face it, Brian Williams isn’t the only one who has “misremembered” things, he was just caught.
Many are just as guilty of this same character flaw.  Brian Williams just happened to be in the public eye reporting the news.  Will there be more who will fall from grace?  Of course…but you and I do not have to be included in this statistic if we are mindful of this trap!  Integrity is a valuable, often tarnished commodity that many lack today.  As people of faith, we ought to make it our goal to strive to live integrity in all that we do and all that we are!

Let’s stop the “misremembering” madness in our own lives and start practicing honesty, sincerity and truth both in word and deed.

Something more to ponder today!

Dear Salvation Army Officer…

I wanted to talk with my fellow Officers for a moment today.

Just a simple dialogue.

Success:
Spoken or unspoken there is, within our officership, this need to prove ourselves worthy of more responsibilities and ministries to the point of unholy ambitions in our Army.  I am not saying don’t work hard, don’t do your best but if our intention is to “outshine” other fellow officers…If our intention is to “look better” than everyone else…if our intention is aimed at solely pleasing our leaders regardless of how we do that…we will have aimed at the wrong goals.

crest3Outcome Based Success…
Much of the time, our success seems to be based upon “goal oriented” outcomes.  In a business world this is understandable because in the business world they deal with numbers and figures.  Our primary purpose as an Army and as officers is for people and helping those people with the physical and the spiritual needs.  We cannot simply use goal oriented outcomes.  There is a danger of seeking success solely through these means of outcomes.  The danger is that we can lose focus on the very people we are attempting to save and serve.  It is often a fine line to walk.

What if we feel Unsuccessful in an Appointment? wounded
What happens, dear officers, when all that we feel about the place that we have been appointed to is failure and defeat?  What occurs in our hearts?  Is our self-worth tied up completely in living and dying by some sort of “success” meter in Officership?  If we do not have 100+ people coming to Holiness meetings on Sunday mornings then we are utter failures as officers?  Is that how we are to view appointments?  More than likely, on average, your Sunday services are a lot less than 100 people.  But why do we play the numbers game and think this is our measure of self-worth?  Were we misled to think this way?

I do remember coming out of Training College sort of living and breathing the song “We’re gonna fill, fill fill the world with glory!  We’re gonna smile, smile smile and not frown…”  But then the real world hit me square in the face.  The world, where in order for some people to receive the glory, hard work and love needs to take place first.  We serve in a mighty army but many that we serve are hurting, broken, spiritually wounded and stunted.  Miracles do happen but we cannot expect this calling to be a cake walk either.

nevermindBut Be Encouraged…
Although we face a lot of difficulties as Officers and often times we take the burdens of others home with us, we are not alone in this fight!  We are soldiers and we serve, first and foremost, the Commander of this Army – Jesus Christ!  He has commissioned those Christ-followers to make disciples…and in our Army, perhaps this translates to one or two people in our corps right now.  Perhaps it’s not so much about absolute victory in our communities right now, but rather the healing and restoration of a few hurting souls that we already know.

Let earthly success worry about itself…take off that heavy burden that sometimes has been thrust upon us by misleading notions of heavenly success.  Let’s do our best, but don’t forget to keep the main thing the main thing in the process.  Losing sight of our principle relationship to the Lord can will cause us to lose sight of every other priority!

We are One Army…be encouraged dear Officer, we serve a mighty God who will provide us the means and direction for the future with and sometimes in spite of those who lead the way.
army2
Something more to ponder today in our Army.
To God Be The Glory!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑