“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” (Job 2:3)
There’s a strange dichotomy when it comes to my parents’ compliments. On the one hand they see truths deep in my character that others don’t, on the other hand their love for me can mean they compliment me without foundation. God’s declarations in the Old Testament about his follower, Job, (see above quote) have none of the latter sentiments. He speaks of tested virtue that’s deeply bedded in character, not just actions.
In the months leading up to September youth workers are laying foundations for young people’s university years. Are you speaking about the surface-level actions of a Christian life or are you developing young people’s character? In fresher’s week, when everyone is trying to make friends, falseness reigns. Some shifting presentations of self are inevitable when one is trying to work out who they are in a new environment but self-discovery is different from hypocrisy. Transparency and integrity are rare traits in our culture and they are consequently fiercely attractive.
Let’s be challenging our young people to step up now in terms of their integrity of lifestyle. Are they the same people with their family, their church friends and their school friends? That doesn’t mean always using the same language, dressing the same way or discussing the same stuff; but at the root are they the same people? Are they consistently kind or loyal; good and faithful? Do they fear God and shun evil in all situations or just those in which it’s easy? Those two traits are evidently the strength of Job's integrity. His integrity is rooted in what he believes to be true and what he commits his life to and overflows into his action.
Our culture is crying out for leaders and peers who display consistency and integrity. Let’s lead our young people into deeply rooted lives which bring them through storms, declare God’s goodness and strength and make them godly leaders of integrity for the sake of the church and our society.