Be a person of integrity- what you see is what you get, don’t pretend to be someone else
Jesus said he had come to bring light, life, truth, and that’s exactly what he did. He didn’t say one thing to one person, and to another something else. Sometimes he was silent, but he didn’t give false impressions. Incidentally, the word integrity has origins from Latin of integer, meaning “whole”
Gather a team- but be discretionary on how much to tell them
Jesus searched for 12 disciples and told them a general outline of their journey-He didn’t scare them with the destination. He didn’t say that all except one of them would end up dying for the cause! Can you imagine if he said, “Hey follow me to your own death”? No one would be up for that, although he did give hints that the journey would involve them to be sacrificial. In Mark 8:34 he said,
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Be driven by a deep passion
Jesus promised his disciples a mission that was beyond their own capabilities. Instead of catching fish they were mobilizing men. Now that’s a passionate pursuit- Something much bigger than could be achieved solo.
At Integricare, we aren’t minding children, we aren’t even educating them. We are building men and women of this nation’s future. Men and women who have integrity, honour and compassion. The children that come into all our centres can and will have a massive impact on this nation. What we do counts. Incredibly.
Discern and Shut down the voices of dark places – the devil
When Jesus began his mission, one of the biggest tests he faced was at the start (also at the end, right near the finish line.) The devil tried to distract him from his real mission by giving a tantalizing and tasty alternative:
In Luke 4:5 it says, “ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Yes, so we need to be focused on our mission and not become distracted with external voices or even our internal ‘talk’ of either extremes- hero or zero.
Communicate- often and with punch
Jesus made his words count. He didn’t keep repeating himself, and he didn’t vacillate once he had communicated a course of action. He sometimes even made his communication cryptic to conceal the truth from those who opposed him, and revealed it to those who were committed to following him.
Palm off the power hungry
There was a large crowd following him, so Jesus gave them a test which revealed their true hearts. This filter left him with the truth seekers and NOT those who just wanted him for their own gratification.
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you……..60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?…..The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Make right decisions; don’t sacrifice the truth for your tribe
Jesus wasn’t a politician, he never made decisions based on popularity, but only based on what he knew was right. For example, in Matthew 26 a woman anointed Jesus’ feet:
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Jesus didn’t fail to rebuke people in his tribe when it was warranted. He didn’t say to himself, ‘oh I don’t want to offend my disciples and risk their ire.’ He just did the right thing and defended the vulnerable, despite their censure and the potential ramifications. Some times I fear leaders make decisions in favour of those who will be the most vocal and cause them the biggest headache, rather than what is the right thing to do.
Be compassionate but fair
Jesus treated two sisters with compassion and fairness. Yes, it wasn’t right that Martha called in Jesus to judge between them both, yet Jesus was patient with Martha and gave her compassion while still being fair. Luke 10:38:
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
From Jesus we can know there is no losing. Just lessons to be learned
When Jesus was betrayed by Peter in Luke 22, Jesus gives Peter an opportunity later to redeem himself. The mercy that Jesus invests pays dividends as Peter becomes an amazing powerhouse for God!
End well. Have a succession plan because you won’t be around forever!
Jesus had planned all along that those he mentored would one day take his message to the ends of the world! Death would not hold his message because it was beyond death-so if your mission is bigger than you, then you’ll never regret dying to yourself trying to make it happen!