In recent days, we have heard stories of news anchors who have lied, authors who have manipulated the system to get a book on a best seller list, and pastors who have lied about their past. With the sheer number of people in leadership roles, these stories while discouraging, do represent only a small percentage of leaders. But still, we are shocked when leaders lie.
There is the lie that makes it to a big media story, but what about the lies that don’t? What about the lies that become more normal in our lives that don’t seem all that bad? Relative. White lies. Lies that we think no one really notices.
Are you a liar?
We had a pastor we served with tell us that whenever he used a number, we should cut it in half to know the truth. He laughed about it but it didn’t seem that funny. Was it really okay to lie even when you admitted you were lying? Most of his lies were about church growth numbers. He really wanted to beat the next largest church in our community.
What can we do to make sure we live above reproach, with integrity, and with truth as a core part of our leadership?
- Speak truth to power. You need to make sure you don’t just have a “yes” team around you. Invite others to tell you the truth. You will have to work hard to break down the barrier of people only telling you what you want to hear.
- Have an accountability group. Find three or four people who are committed to challenging you to live with integrity and who will ask you the hard questions.
- Submit to authority. You need someone to answer to, to give an account of your leadership to. You must respect the authority over you and you must be truthful to them.
- Ask those closest to you – your spouse, your children, your best friends, your closest ministry partners, your closest leaders – to tell you the truth. Ask them how you are doing.
- Walk intimately with God. Time in prayer and time in God’s word are essential for leaders of faith. And don’t lie about this! Real time with God. Real and honest.
“These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true and sound decisions within your gates.” Zechariah 8:16
Why do you think leaders lie?