Circle of Integrity

    May 26, 2023 | by Anthony Wade

    Recently, I read a statement that really hit me. It said, “Surround yourself with people who will fight for you in rooms you aren’t in.”

    When I read that simple statement, several things hit me all at once. First, I immediately saw the main point of the quote. That is, the people you allow into your main circle of influence in life can play a huge part in either pulling you up to new heights or tearing you down to all-time lows. When you associate with people of questionable character, they will inevitably show their true colors and turn on you. When you are not around, they will put themselves first, as selfish people do.

    But then the Lord began to show me another truth about this. He turned the quote around on me to show me the importance of being that person of integrity. We all need to ask ourselves the difficult questions about our own character. Am I being the person who fights for my friends when THEY are not in the room? Am I loyal? Am I a person whose yes means yes and whose no means no? Is my integrity where it needs to be?

    You see, I need to be that person of integrity because, when it comes down to it, I am the only one that I have authority over in life. I am the only one that I can control. Part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. I am not called to control you. I am called to control me by the grace of God and help of the Holy Spirit. When each of us get that revelation, the associations that come our way will fall into place. Allow me to illustrate with a couple of verses.

    Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.” Another translation says the way of the wicked “leads them astray.” When you are not a person of integrity, walking in righteousness, you will lead your friends away from the Kingdom life. That is your calling as a believer, and it goes hand in hand with the concept of being salt and light in your world like Jesus encouraged.

    Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” The traditional way this verse is taught puts the obligation on us to find wise people to hang out with so we will be wise and not be destroyed. Although that is true, what if the bigger point to learn is that we are called to be the wise person who makes others wise and doesn’t destroy them? What if we actually started looking to the Father and His Word to change us and set our course and destiny instead of others. Then, and only then, we will be stronger than ever and be able to lead our circle to victory instead of being led astray by them headlong into defeat.

    There are other verses I could share, but I hope you get the point. This whole thing starts with us and our intimacy with the Father. Don’t look to others to determine how high you can go in this beautiful Kingdom life. Keep looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of your faith. Stay close to Him as He promised He will always stick close to you. Only then will you be exactly who you need to be. And, trust me, those in your circle will catch on and be changed. Before you know it, you will have a circle FULL of people whose integrity you will never have to question. You know what they will be like in the rooms you aren’t in. Your life will truly never be the same and your relationships will be more full and rewarding than you ever thought could be possible.

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