We’re all familiar with the tragedy of the Titanic, the opulent cruise ship that went down in 1912 on its first voyage, killing 1,500 people. It has long been believed that the Titanic sunk as the result of a huge gash in the side of the ship after it collided with an iceberg. In recent years, however, an international team of divers and scientists examined the wreckage and came to a different conclusion. Rather than a large hole, they discovered a series a narrow slits across the watertight holds of the ship. Water entered the holds through these slits, eventually causing the ship to go down. These relatively small gaps compromised the integrity of the ship.
Just as maintaining the integrity of a ship is critically important, integrity is a big deal in coaching and in life. Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” What does it mean to walk in integrity and how can you consistently do this?
Here’s a helpful definition of integrity used by FCA: “To have integrity means that you are committed to Christ-like wholeness, both privately and publicly. Basically, it means to live without gaps.” Perhaps you’re committed to following Jesus and doing what honors him – but are there some “gaps” in this commitment: some areas of your life where you know you’re not living for Christ, some settings in which you “take plays off” when it comes to really doing what Jesus desires for you? Maybe it’s in some of the things you do or say as a coach. Maybe it’s in your private life. Maybe there are breakdowns in integrity in how you relate to certain individuals. When there are gaps in your integrity – even if they seem relatively small – you face the danger of being shipwrecked.
By God’s power and grace, you can address these gaps and pursue Christ-like wholeness in all areas of your life. How can you be a person of integrity who walks securely with the Lord?
- Through God’s resources – Integrity is not automatic. We need wisdom and power to choose integrity in every situation. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him…” As you daily cultivate your relationship with the Lord and recognize your dependence upon him, you can trust him to give you his wisdom and power so you can pursue integrity.
- Through reinforcement – Integrity is not a one-time deal. Like any foundational skill in sports, integrity must be practiced and reinforced day by day. Have people around you who will encourage you and hold you accountable to be a person of integrity.
- Through resolve – Integrity is not easy. As former NFL running back Shaun Alexander said, “You’ve got to be tough spiritually to have integrity. You’ve got to be tough to live with purity.” In 1 Cor. 9:24, Paul urges us with these words: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Resolve to run the race of life with integrity for Christ’s glory, even when those around you are “taking crooked paths.”
Integrity in one of four foundational values that we as FCA desire to define and drive us. We’ll talk about the other three in the coming weeks as we begin this new year. Coach, may you be defined by integrity and driven by a desire to coach and live with integrity. Remember, “whoever walks in integrity walks securely.”