But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
-John 19:15 (NKJV)
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Chief Priests had devoted their entire lives to God’s service. But in an instant, they traded faithfulness, for the convenience of removing a political opponent. They cared not for the truth, only for what was easy.
Trading integrity for power is nothing new. But it may be more difficult to maintain integrity today, when so many others seem to care little for their own.
Integrity demands we tell the truth, and seek it. Integrity means that our convictions are more important than our aspirations. And integrity calls us to do what is right, as we judge it, always.
If we truly desire to be people of integrity, we would do well to spend time with the One who is the originator of this word. In the Old Testament God identifies as “I am who I am” or in Hebrew ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה). This name was given to indicate the timeless, consistent, and unchanging nature of the Creator. God simply is, and was, and will be – integrity beyond the scale.
Jesus displayed this integrity as well: entrusting his life to His Father in the garden, maintaining truthfulness (and avoiding bitterness) while on trial, and displaying the fullness of his sacrificial love upon the cross. In seeking him, and trusting him with our lives, integrity might become not so far out of reach.
~Pastor Mike Middaugh