Leaders Must Guard Their Integrity

As men, we must constantly be on guard in walking with integrity. People are looking even when we think they are not. More than likely, all of us have broken some sacred trust, perhaps to our wife, kids, or close friend. It’s not easy to live up to the expectations of others, but we break trust by not living up to the standard we have set for others. Hypocrisy might be an accurate word. King David is one of my favorite men in the Bible; he was so great in the eyes of God and men, but he was also so stupid at times.

The life of King David was filled with numerous triumphs, conquests, and successes. He took down Goliath all by himself with a sling and a stone. He wrote many of the psalms from which we find comfort in our times of difficulty. He led the nation of Israel and was considered by many to be its greatest leader. But he had a darker side that was eventually exposed by the prophet Nathan. Surely the sins of David would find him out.

I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. — 2 Samuel 12:8-9

David also learned a harsh lesson about the importance of trust. While sitting on his rooftop one day (2 Samuel 11:2) when he should have been at war (2 Samuel 11:1), he saw Bathsheba bathing and sent for her. This act led to adultery, the murder of Uriah the Hittite, and a cover-up of the whole situation (2 Samuel 11:14-15). Only when the prophet Nathan confronted David about his actions did the king ask God for forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:7, 8, 9, 13). However, the Lord did not let David off easy. The child he fathered with Bathsheba died (2 Samuel 12:14), there was a constant threat of murder in his family (2 Samuel 12:11-12), and his son Absalom caused David problems until he was killed in battle (2 Samuel 18:9, 14-15).

When someone is trusted with a leadership role, they are given the opportunity to use their talents, time, and influence for causes bigger than themselves. As they make good decisions while showing integrity and concern for others, they earn trust. John Maxwell says this is like putting change in your pocket. When a man betrays that trust, it becomes difficult to regain. The leader has to pay some of their change back to the people. When someone runs out of change, trust is gone. When trust is gone, the leader ceases to be a leader.

King David’s story should serve as a reminder of the importance of trust and how quickly it can disappear. Men, allow God to mold and refine your character so that your decisions will inspire others to trust your abilities.

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