I got sent this week's Thort a long time ago
from a friend of mine who I met online called Missy D - think there
are some key truths here that we will all do well to take note of
and measure our lives against - trust there will be something for
you. When the article talks about 'ministry' I think it is talking
about what each of us have in whatever job we are in and not specifically
to people working in and for the church as we might think of ministry.
We are all called to ministry whether in the secular or Christian
"The best argument for Christianity is
Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness.
But the strongest argument against Christianity
is also Christians - when they are somber and joyless, when they
are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they
are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths."
From God's perspective, faithful Christians
are those men and women who exhibit their work and themselves in
a way that makes others want to know, "What's different about
you?" When others observe you at work, what are they going
Will they notice what Paul calls, "The
acts of the sinful nature: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage,
selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like?" (Galatians 5:19-21).
Or will people look at you and see that "the
fruit of the Spirit and see that "the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
and self-control"? (Galatians 5:22).
Whether you're called into a Christian or a
secular work environment, your integrity as a worker and as a Christian
will either stand or fall on the quality of life you exhibit. Integrity,
how you are respected by others, is the pivot point that can turn
your Christian faith into an opportunity that either honors God
or embarrasses Him.
Exhibiting Your Integrity:
1. You exhibit integrity through your ministry
by getting the job done.
2. You exhibit your integrity at ministry by
doing excellent work.
Doing a job is one thing. Doing it with a commitment
to excellence is quite another. And it's this commitment to quality
that should be the hallmark of a Christian's work. Paul reminds
us that a Christian's commitment to excellence reflects his integrity
through his relationship with God. To the Corinthians, Paul wrote,
"... whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
(1 Corinthians 10:31). Should it be any other way? How can slipshod
work glorify an excellent God? When a person decides to live for
God, it seems only natural to want to minister to reflect the excellence
of the Creator and Lord. That's why, if you choose to see your career
from God's perspective, you'll want to produce the highest quality
of work you know how.
3. You exhibit integrity in the quality of life
you lead at ministry.
This is integrity that is lived out through
the relationships you have with others. The Apostle Peter will never
step into your ministry setting, but he knows exactly what it means
for you to be a Christian who displays integrity to all around you:
"live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse
you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God
on the day he visits us" (1 Peter 2:12)
Can you see how a Christian's integrity is able
to take shape in the ministry world? It starts as you commit to
do your ministry. It grows as others see the excellence you put
into your work. And a Christian's integrity really begins to shine
when others see that WHAT you do is really a reflection of WHO you
are. Your integrity becomes not only a trademark of your work, but
also a hallmark of your very life. Live the Life.
Your walk talks, and your talk walks, but your
walk talks faster than your talk walks.
4. You exhibit integrity at work in communicating
your faith to others.
This principle is described in 1 Peter 3:15:
"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." The ideal way to share your faith
is to earn the right to be heard, and then to respond to the questions
others ask about your life and faith.
Integrity: What Do YOU Think?
How does integrity fit into your ministry life?
Look at the following questions and think about/write down your
responses to each before going on to the next one.
In what ways are today's Christians "out-thinking,
out-living, and out-dying" unbelievers in our generation?
In what ways does this phrase describe you in
Can you think of any Christians who live an
exceptional life in their ministry? What characterizes their behavior?
How does a Christian "earn the right to
be heard?" In what ways are you earning the right to be heard
in your workplace?
"Your walk talks and your talk walks, but
your walk talks faster than your talk walks." How does this
saying relate to the Biblical Ministry Principle of integrity as
explained in this message?
A possible practical application of this week's
thort is to set an "action goal" to help you apply the
principle of integrity. Think of an area where you lack integrity
in your day to day life.
Make it measurable and specific. Example: "Since
my hot temper is my trademark at ministry, I'm going to make a long-needed
appointment with a Christian counselor and begin resolving this
problem that's obviously a hindrance to my Christian testimony."