Learning For Life, Online edition!, Servant

Leadership Integrity, by Fred Campbell

Leadership Integrity

Dennis Waitley in his book Being the Best reports the story of Reuben Gonzales, a leading racquetball player. Gonzales reached the final in his first ever professional tournament. Holding match point in the fifth and final game, he made an amazing “kill shot” into the front corner. The ball was called good. Match over, Gonzales declared the winner. Or was he? Gonzales turned around and said his serve hit the floor before it reached the wall. He lost his serve and his opponent won the match and the tournament.

In its next issue, the National Racquetball Magazine featured Gonzales on its cover. Everyone wanted to know why Gonzales, a professional sportsman, disqualified himself after being declared the winner of the match point. His answer was simple: “It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity.”

INTEGRITY. Webster defines it as “wholeness, completeness.”  Integrity is having a well-balanced life. It is to personal or corporate character what health is to the body or 20/20 vision is to the eyes. A leader with integrity is not divided (that’s duplicity) or merely pretending (that’s hypocrisy.) He or she is “whole;” life is “put together,” and things are working together harmoniously..

Leaders of integrity:

  • tell no one (not even family members or prayer partners) confidential matters.
  • do not fear the probing light of scrutiny.
  • have the courage to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, though it may cost them.
  • refuse to cut ethical corners.
  • handle success, prosperity, and promotions with grace and dignity..
  • are personally reliable, keeping their promises.

Psalm 78:72 says of King David, he “shepherded them (the nation of Israel) with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” That’s a perfect balance for a leader. A good leader has skillful hands to deal with situations that have no rules, no boundaries, no precedence. And they have a heart of integrity, a well-balanced life.

He who walks in integrity, walks securely. . . (Proverbs 10:9)

Fred Campbell lives in Ovilla, Texas, just south of Dallas. He pastored two independent Bible churches for 40 years. Currently, he is the president of Living Grace Ministries, a ministry committed to helping churches develop servant leaders, following the model of the Lord Jesus. Fred has traveled to 29 countries and 15 states to lead the workshop. He received his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and his D Min from Phoenix Seminary. Fred is married to Carolyn and has a married son and two grandchildren. His web site is www.livinggraceministries,com and his email is fred@livingraceministries.com.

July 2018, Publisher's Letter

Are you a Door or a Door Mat? Publisher’s Letter

Serving Others…. Are you a door or a doormat?

The truth is, it made me mad. Here I was in church, looking to be encouraged by the sermon. As the worship ended, our pastor stood up and made a statement I’ll never forget. You could have heard a pin drop in the huge auditorium. “Do you want to know how to improve the most difficult relationships in your life?” The crowd was on the edge of their seats. We were all leaning in to take detailed notes. Yes! Yes! We want to know how to improve the most difficult relationships in our lives! “Serve ‘em.”

Really? Is that it? Is that all? Please tell me there is more! That is not what I wanted to hear, likely the sentiment of the thousands of other people who filled the room. He went on to explain that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at one of his darkest hours. There was a plot to kill him, and he knew his earthly time was coming to an end. Regardless of Jesus’ state-of-reality, this radical act of service demonstrated the full extent of his love for them. Jesus even said in John 13:14-15, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Wow! Jesus didn’t say wash the feet of those worthy of foot washing. He didn’t say wash the feet of those who were in right standing with you. Nor did he say, “Wait until they deserve it.” There is little argument that serving someone quickly softens a situation where tension could otherwise erode relationships.

There were times in my life where, even though I was angry with someone, one kind act of service changed my attitude and quickly shifted me to a more compassionate position. Not because of the other party, but because in that moment I chose to obey Jesus. There is no better invitation for the hand of Jesus to intervene than when we choose to obey His Word.

There were also times when I ignored this life lesson and just let my anger have its say. Bitter words and ugly attitudes can quickly fester and bring about doubt and fear. Cold silence can be just as hurtful. It’s a tool of our enemy and can allow disobedience to wreak havoc and usher in often unnecessary suffering. Perfectly good relationships have ended over poor communication and misinterpreted feelings.

One of my most personal struggles is this very battle: serve or say. I’m a proponent of clear communication and dealing with what needs to be dealt with. There are frequently times when productive conversations are needed. To clarify and reach agreement with a kind approach is an effective way to strengthen a relationship. What I’m trying to articulate here is that we don’t become door mats, we become doors. Better relationships, based in truth and wisdom, are often born out of someone who humbled themselves in an effort to serve that relationship into health and often happiness.

Jesus sets the example. It’s up to us to choose. Will you serve others?

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June 2017, Publisher's Letter

Publisher’s LETTER

June Publisher’s LETTER

Dreams change but never die…

Years ago, my husband Fred and I were in a paddle boat in the middle of our neighborhood lake fishing with our two young children. We were using “stinky bait” to catch catfish. Let me just tell you, stinky bait stinks!

My husband laughed when I said, somewhat befuddled: “To think I wanted to be a television talk show host,” as I wiped my hands, failing to get the stink off. That goal of being the Christian version of Oprah Winfrey was not in the cards! It seemed stinky bait and raising babies detoured my plans.

We all had dreams when we were kids. For many, it was the dream to escape, to prove our worth, to establish an identity — that brief moment in time when being a rock star seemed a real possibility. Then life seems to happen, and the older we get, the less we dream. Bills, commitments, jobs, families and other priorities become front and center, and all of a sudden, year after year, we have forgotten that potential is still a thing and dreams are still very much a reality.

The Bible has much to say about humility. One, it’s a fruit of the Spirit. Which means if we have Jesus, we have humility! Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4 NIV)

As a believer, humility is a healthy and reverent fear of the Lord. It is trusting God with what is, what was, and what is to come. We can look back in regret over things that didn’t happen. We can linger into the future in hopes of what may happen. But right now — today — this is the day the Lord has made! This is the day set before us to trust Him to speak to us about His miraculous plans for our lives.

Pride is usually considered the opposite of humility. Often referred to as our mortal enemy, it can certainly wreak havoc in our lives. Yet being confident is different. We are gifted by God to do His will, therefore we get to be great at something! (1 Corinthians 12)

Therein lies the confusion. Pride says we can do it ourselves. Confidence says we trust in God to do what He said He would do. He put each of us here for a purpose and gifted us uniquely to live that purpose out, surrendering our agendas to his as only He knows what is best for us.

I’ll admit, I’d still like to be the Christian version of Oprah Winfrey and host a talk show to share the amazing testimonies of God at work in the lives of his people! But for now, that is STILL not in the cards. God has instead blessed me with a marriage of 24 years, two grown children, one grandchild and a ministry that I love. And I would not trade those “stinky bait” days for anything, for those are treasured memories.

Humility includes trading our desires for His perfect purposes. I still believe in God-sized dreams. Do you?


Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE


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