|“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6)
Authenticity is a product of integrity. Integrity is defined as “wholeness, completeness, soundness.” A person with integrity is not divided (that’s duplicity) or devious (that’s deception) or merely pretending (that’s hypocrisy). People with integrity have nothing to hide nor anything to fear. Their lives are transparent. Though, and it is very unfortunate, they are also somewhat rare.
There is a shortage and a crisis of integrity today. The church has blemished itself with integrity issues. The church is more like a defeated army, naked before our enemies, and unable to fight back because they have made a frightening discovery: the church is lacking in integrity.
Warren Wiersbe said, “For nineteen centuries, the church has been telling the world to admit its sins, repent, and believe the gospel. Today, in the twilight of the twentieth century, the world is telling the church to face up to her sins, repent, and start being the true church of that gospel.” Wiersbe said this back in the early 1990s.
We boast that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, but perhaps the gospel of Christ is ashamed of us. It seems as if ministry and life does not match our message and lips. The salt has lost is potency. It has become good for nothing. The world has influenced and contaminated the message of the messenger. And now the world walks upon the church.
The integrity crisis has infiltrated the church and it involves the whole church. In the body of Christ, we belong with one another, we affect one another, and we can’t escape one another. When one member suffers, all the other members suffer with them (I Cor. 12:26). What the church needs today is not a quick fix that touches only the surface, which is only cosmetic; what we truly need is a surgeon who cuts deep and removes the cancer.
Remember this: God is wanting to make integers and Satan is wanting to make fractions. God’s purpose is to “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). God does not accept neutrality. Let us look up, look around us, and look within. The Christian whom God wants to bless and use must have the courage to be different and the conviction to keep going in the right direction, come what may.