Integrity is the Evidence
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the disciples saw themselves as the “evidence” of the resurrection. They started a movement that continues over 2000 years later. Their words, actions, and interactions with people were evidence the resurrection was real, powerful, and hope-filled. Today, their witness is animated through your life.
How can your life be evidence of the resurrection?
Yes, it is possible!
I believe the evidence of resurrection is found in the Christian character we display in our everyday lives. Here are four ways to focus your character on being a person of integrity. These reminders are an invitation to all Christians to be people who have an integrated character.
First, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, points out that the evidence of Christian character is seen in the “fruit of the Spirit.” He writes,
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The “fruit of the Spirit” in your life and my life reveals the character of our lives.
Question to consider: What is the evidence of the resurrection in your life and in the life of your congregation?
Second, in discussing the necessity of integrity in the development of character, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath in their book, The Ascent of a Leader, write:
The heart – the inner life, shaped primarily by trust – molds our motives. Our motives establish our values. And our values govern our actions. What we believe about ourselves takes root and is nourished in our hearts. And it’s from the heart that our destiny – our ultimate influence and value – flows.
Question to consider: What values are governing your actions?
Third, in regard to developing character, Helen Keller said:
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Question to consider: In what ways is your character currently being developed?
Fourth, Thrall, McNicol, and McElath, in discussing the necessity of paying the price in developing character, write:
…people of character stick it out through the trials of paying the price. They don’t view their decisions as things they must do to receive a short-term benefit. They choose to do the right thing because the one asset they hold most dear is their influence, something far more valuable than the short-term benefits…Being true to who they are develops and tests integrity, and this earns trust, protecting these leaders’ right to teach and to love others. They view character maturity as worth the risks of potential setbacks.
The four reminders above refer to the integration of the inner life with the outer life. The evidence of the resurrected Christ is found in the integrity of our lives.
You and I have the opportunity, in response to the resurrection, to be the evidence of God’s love in our homes, in the workplace, in the community, and around the world. We have the opportunity to produce the “fruit of the Spirit,” the characteristics of the life of Christ.
Questions to consider: What is the evidence of the resurrection in your life? In the life of your congregation? How are you living an integrated life?
Through our integrity, the church, our communities, and the world will know the love of God.
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