Friday, March 11, 2016

questions for integrity

Fred Smith, Sr., successful Christian businessman and mentor to many, had an ability to ask himself questions "with toughness and objectivity.  He regularly assessed his progress.  He didn't trust the idea of achieving integrity and then putting himself on 'auto pilot.'  He took his emotional, spiritual, and intellectual temperature to maintain accuracy."

Here are a few questions he used in his personal search for integrity:

1) Do my motives have integrity?   Rationalization does more to pollute integrity of motive than any other factor. Ends never justify illegal, unjust, or unethical means.  

2) Am I ego-driven or responsibility motivated? Ego-driven people satisfy their ego from the cause while responsibility motivated people sacrifice their ego to the cause.  

3) Do I want the truth?  It takes a tough mind and a strong heart to love truth. Integrity demands trying to know and love truth for its own sake.  

4) Does my will control my feelings? Leadership demands a strong will, not a selfish or stubborn will.  It demands a will that does what needs doing.  By our will we overcome our yen for pleasure and our satisfaction with mediocrity.  

5) What is my source of joy? Hope expresses itself in joy. My personal definition of joy is "adequacy." The struggle is finding true security and complete adequacy in authentic, not synthetic sources.  

6) Is my passion focused? Passion brings purpose, unity, intensity, and concentration, assuring accomplishment.  Passion gives depth, keeping us from the shallowness of mediocrity.  Our lives become a welder's torch rather than a grass fire.  

7) How grateful am I?  Integrity in leadership demands gratitude.  Gratitude exposes our vulnerability and our dependence on others.    

8) Am I the pump or the pipe?  God is the pump and I am the pipe.  The pipe never gets tired.  When I try to substitute my power for God's, I become powerless, dissatisfied, even frantic, and depressed.  

9) Is grace real for me?  When I refuse grace, I am playing God and trying to punish myself.  Grace brings freedom.  If only we accept the gift, we face the failure and move on.

~ Fred Smith, Sr., from Breakfast With Fred.  

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