…by Gordon Barker
On Sunday at the St. John Campus Bobby taught about the forgotten virtue of Integrity. He defined integrity as when our behavior matches our beliefs. For the Christ-follower, this is a great definition. It challenges us in both directions. First, to have a good understanding of what we believe and then to provide evidence of what we believe by our behavior. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses 1 Peter 3:15, 16.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
I have always focused on verse 15 because of its practical instruction. First, set apart Christ as Lord. For me this means doing my best to have a strong maturing faith. Second, be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks… with gentleness and respect. But something else Bobby said this week really pointed out the importance of verse 16 to me. Our behavior is what allows us to have influence in other people’s lives. Verse 16 assumes our good behavior in Christ is a given and that because of this we will be respected by others. And from that respect have the chance to influence them in positive ways. The most important of which is to consider the possibility of a relationship with God.
This challenges me to slow down and think about why I choose to do and say the things that I do. My words and actions matter. They will influence others one way or the other. For those of us who have made the choice to Set apart Christ as Lord we need to live with integrity and do our best to match our behavior with our beliefs.
Bobby used some great verses this week. Take a minute and go back and read through them again.
Psalm 15:1-5, Luke 6:44-46, Galatians 1:10, Proverbs 11:3, 2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 12:1-2