A Leader’s Word Should Be Sufficient If We Are To Recover And Restore Integrity
Has there ever been a time when integrity in leadership and example to others has been at such a low level? You can look at sport or business, banking and virtually every area of finance and government, and you will uncover corruption and cheating and men thinking they will never be found out.
Alas they are found out right away, or four or five years later!
Having been reading and studying in Matthew Chapter 5 and the teaching of Jesus Christ in that passage referred to as The Sermon on the Mount, we come across morally high standards which are worthy of study.
Although one could say the ground of this teaching flows from the third Commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”, Jesus Christ is not quoting from any specific passage of Scripture. Jesus is speaking about the law, and the words we use, and the vows we make, and should keep.
The rabbis, at that time, were all so concerned about words, and they were saying that you only need to keep the oaths and vows where the Name of God is involved.
They wanted to have vows which you could slip out of if you so chose. You could swear ‘by heaven’ or ‘by the Temple’ or ‘by the gold of the Temple’ or ‘by Jerusalem’ or ‘by the hair of your head’.
You could swear ‘by Jerusalem’ – that I will give my neighbour his ox back, or whatever I have taken, but because I have not taken the Name of God then I can slip out of it.
That vow or oath or promise was not so binding. They were blind guides!
We read what God actually said in Leviticus Chapter 19 and verse 12 and Numbers Chapter 30 verse 2 and Deuteronomy Chapter 23 and at verse 21.
What is Jesus teaching His disciples and us today? No matter where you lead, and no matter which walk of life you are in, this is the highest and finest and best example to follow.
Because you follow Me, if you are going to go out into the world to represent Me, then you are going to have to be different. Your words matter. Our words do matter.
Do not make silly distinctions. The rabbis were looking at things physically or carnally, whereas Jesus was looking at things spiritually or theologically.
The world is God’s and everything in it. There are not areas of speech or thinking that God does not have access to. He hears and we cannot rule out situations where He is excluded.
We read in this same Chapter of “the city of the great king”. If the Church of Jesus Christ taught clearly on that too today, we would not have this massive problem in the Middle East.
The second thing Jesus teaches here is that we should not need special vows and words. What do we hear people saying – “the fact of the matter is” or “to be honest”?
These phrases are used to make words more weighty and to try to convince people that what we are saying is true.
What Jesus is teaching here regards our integrity. Our word should be enough.
We should know where we stand with Jo Christian, or Josephine Christian.
People should know we are truthful Christians. We do not need to adorn our words.
Jesus is teaching us to go away beyond being superficial, and sounding good, and being hypocritical, and this should be applied to our leadership qualities and demonstrate integrity in every area of life, no matter where we serve and lead.