Work Matters: Integrity

The Birch Trees.Emery House

For the first time in about three decades I can actually say we now have access to excellent service professionals that are truly dependable. It’s so nice to know that on the other end of the phone are a plumber, electrician, builder, auto mechanic, painter, and/or lawn care specialist who all have one important characteristic in common: integrity. What a comfort and peace of mind to know that there are professional vendors out there who keep their word, follow through with excellence, and stand by their work to their customer’s complete satisfaction.

It hasn’t always been the case for us. We’ve had our share of being ripped off by those who said one thing and did another. Can you relate?

Integrity is the quality of being honest, with strong moral principles; having moral uprightness. It also means being a person who is whole and undivided…in other words, a person who’s life is integrated in a healthy, holistic way. A person of integrity is a person who lives consistent with the words and emotions they express. And, when one’s character is matched with one’s competency, a person of integrity ensures that words spoken are lived out in attitudes and actions consistent with one’s message.

A great football player who is a murderer off season struggles with integrity. An elementary school teacher who has child pornography on his computer struggles with integrity. A church leader who is engaged in illegal or immoral practices at work struggles with integrity. A Christian businessman who speaks on various workplace topics and is having an extra-marital affair struggles with integrity. You might be wrestling with integrity if your life as a believer isn’t evidenced in your daily relationships and responsibilities.

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…and intergrity is taking it. And, as C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing…even when no one is watching.”

Where does integrity come from? It’s evidence of a life of whole-hearted devotion to God. There’s nothing half-hearted about integrity; you either have it or lack it. Nehemiah was known as a man of integrity, as was Job, David, and Isaiah. Each faced their share of hardship and suffering; and all of them were known by others with whom they interacted as men of integrity. Isn’t that what you want said of your work, relationships, and daily life?

Consider the following texts as spiritual guides to a life of integrity. Meditate on these Scriptures as you consider areas of your life that lack the integrity you desire. “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” (Psalm 25:21) “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9) “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.” (Titus 2:7)

Lord, I appeal to you in behalf of my brothers and sisters who today are in their respective workplaces seeking to live godly lives filled with integrity. May the words they speak out and the lives they live out be consistent with their heart for God and their service to others. May the glory of the Lord be evidenced today through the work of their hands and the prayers of their hearts. All for your Kingdom invitation to integrity and for your namesake, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.