Leadership: Image vs. Integrity

The real test of any leader is in their private life. Image is what people think we are; integrity is what we really are! Leaders need to be people of integrity—honest, genuine, consistent, and transparent. In particular, spiritual leaders need to have strong spiritual disciplines in the areas of Bible study, prayer, and church attendance.

Leaders need to carefully guard their time. Elton Trueblood wrote:

A public man, though he is necessarily available at many times, must learn to hide. If he is always available, he is not worth enough when he is available.

Gordon MacDonald asked one of the most profound questions a leader must face, “Are we going to order our inner worlds so that they will create influence on the outer world? Or will we neglect our private worlds and thus permit the outer sphere to shape us?” This is the choice we have to make every day of our lives. That’s what Paul seemed to say in Romans 12:2.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this [outer] world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” Romans 12:2 (Phillips)

If the real test of a spiritual leader is their private life, then how are you doing? Are you holding down a passing grade? If not, ask God to help you make improvement.

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