If there is one thing that seems to be a missing factor in manhood today is that of personal integrity. I remember thinking as a teenager that the word integrity only applied to preachers and really old people. Obviously I was sadly mistaken. You see, when I understood what personal integrity really meant, it changed my whole perspective on life. I was a junior in high school and enjoying teen life. I felt that God was calling me to preach but I really wasn’t sure what my next step was supposed to be. My youth pastor took me aside in the summer before my senior year and taught me a valuable lesson. He told me that being a preacher is not about standing behind a pulpit, but rather it is about genuinely and passionately following Christ. I heard a wise preacher once say that we are human “beings” not human “doings”. I laughed when he said it because it sounded so strange, but when it sunk into my heart, the conviction was real. We spend so much time doing this and doing that. Take your life’s calling out of the picture for a minute and think about how worried you are about your performance, compared to how genuinely passionate you are about loving Christ with all of your heart.
I believe personal integrity can be summed up with living our life with the constant acknowledgement of the presence of Jesus Christ.
My youth pastor was pushing me as a soon-to-be senior to love Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind, hoping the result would be biblical integrity. Ultimately, no matter what our occupation or calling in life as Christians, we all have one main objective. It is found in Matthew 22:37, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Christ esteemed this principle as the most important command in all the Bible. Can I challenge you to make sure you are “being” the right type of Christian in your love for Christ. I firmly believe when we express a genuine heart of love for our Savior, a life of integrity will follow. It will be a result of being in love with Christ, versus doing all the right things.
Bro Kurt Copeland is the Youth Pastor of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN