I’m often asked, “What is the one thing above all
others that is a leader’s priority?” My answer has little to do with
personal gifts or professional skill. But it is the thing that will
become the foremost reason people will trust and follow you and the
reason God will put His seal of approval on you. The one thing is
integrity of heart.
Leaders with integrity of heart listen to the Holy
Spirit’s whispers, yield to His slightest “pings” of conscience and
submit to His goads of correction or direction. It is found and
sustained by daily choices of a conscience that yields to,
and a conscientiousness that abides in, this sobering and
inescapable truth: Every moment, I am naked and exposed in
front of Jesus (see Heb. 4:13).
That I should live my life “in front of Jesus” is the
counsel my mother engraved upon my heart as a child. It was never used
to condemn, but spoken to teach me to live self-confronted by that
reality. It has never produced perfection in me, but it has provided
life-long protection from self-will, presumptuous indulgence or
presumed self-righteousness. To live your life in front of Jesus will
keep you on the sure course unto life, the pure path of love and in the
securing fold of truth.
Hayford is founding pastor of
The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and former president of
the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.