After Jesus finished teaching the Beatitudes he spoke to the tendency of people wanting to take an oath to prove that their actions will follow their words. He said swearing by something just isn’t necessary, in fact He simply says don’t do it. For a person of integrity, it just isn’t necessary. Just simply let you yes be yes and your no, no. (Matt 5:37) Pretty simple stuff, but it speaks to the integrity of the heart. I have a close friend who says, “My word is my bond!” I want you to hold me accountable to anything I say. How refreshing is that? In today’s day and age it seems like a commodity that is short supply. It should be a given in the Kingdom, unfortunately it isn’t.
I was talking to a leader last week who was asking me how to deal with another leader whose word is not their bond. Who promises but then doesn’t follow through. How can they trust them? It is really a challenge for me when someone tells me they will do something but then do not carry it through. I am not talking about ability to accomplish a goal, I am talking simple follow through on their word. Integrity begins with the words that I speak. If I cannot trust that you will follow through on simple commitments and the words you speak, why would I trust anything else you say? If your words do not dictate actions, then why bother me with the words promising but never fulfilling. In fact, after I am burned two or three times, I find it challenging to believe any commitment that individual will make.
A leader who walks in integrity simply shows up and does what they said they would do. Or as Jesus says, simply say yes or no and then do it!