As I work with emerging leaders, I find that the topic of integrity is often at the forefront. And leaders often find that their integrity is under constant attack.
As a family, we have a Bible verse that helps guide us: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Prov. 22:1, NIV). This passage has helped shape my wife and me, and all three of our sons.
I was raised and adopted by my grandparents, who worked hard their whole lives to build and maintain a good name. From a small plot of dirt, they built a ranch that today, four generations later, is larger than 150,000 acres. My granddad’s nickname was “Pick,” a nickname my sons and I carry.
When I was a young man, people would find out I was Pick’s grandson and treat me with special favor, not because of what I had done, but because of who he was. As I matured, I began to realize the value of a good name, and maintaining a good name became my personal goal, as well. Now I am joyfully witnessing my three adult sons carry on the Pickrel legacy of maintaining a good name.
Our good name is based on our integrity. We won’t lie to you. We are not perfect, and we often come face to face with our human weaknesses. But when we do fail—for example, let a lie slip out for convenience’s sake—we repent and strive not to do so again.
But every forgiven failure and humble success means we are growing and learning. Matthew 5:37 tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no (NKJV). In other words, we are to say what we mean and mean what we say.
We live in a world steeped in deception. Lying may seem to be the easy way out of uncomfortable or inconvenient situations. But once a good name is lost, it takes a tremendous amount of work to get it back. Integrity and honesty may seem difficult, but maintaining a good name is easier than restoring it.
Yet, through God’s love and mercy, that which seems impossible is possible. When you fail, own the failure before God, repent and receive forgiveness, bear the resulting consequences and get a fresh start. You will experience the rewarding day of seeing your children build a good name of their own on the foundation and legacy you have passed on to them.
Psalm 18:25 says, “To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity” (NLT). When we are people of integrity, we will experience the favor of both God and man, which is of tremendous value.
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