A Note From the Principal's Desk
Published in the Lion's Roar (v.1.14) on December 3, 2014
There is a poster hanging in the halls of our school that reminds passersby that a man or woman of integrity is found when one's actions are independent of who is or is not watching or listening. We are people of integrity when we speak and act consistently with who we are on the inside. When our actions and words no longer are in sync, we must question our level of integrity. Without a doubt, it's not easy to live a life of true integrity. The world shouts out lies that integrity is something sort of gray...and shifting...or far too idealistic to be reached. What a terrible lie.
As educators, which includes parents, it's so easy to look at what our children need to learn and to forget how important it is for us to look carefully at ourselves, too. In fact, a close look at ourselves is essential for the healthy formation of our children—our students. Children watch and learn from key adults in their lives. How seriously do we consider our own levels of integrity? Do we hold our children to higher standards than those to which we hold ourselves? Or, do we lower our standards for our children because we just can't get ourselves to even buy into Jesus' high standards for us? What does Jesus think about the topic of integrity?
Does Jesus make excuses for us because He knows we're sinners? Does He simply overlook our inconsistencies and hope for the best? What does He think about us when we say one thing but do the opposite? How does He respond to us when we tell our children to be truthful, but we then tell an "untruth" (just a little one, maybe) in order to get what we think we need...because "the system" requires the little lie? How do we reconcile a desire to live lives of integrity with our human failings and imperfect circumstances?
Jesus had much to say about the Pharisees of His day. He called them hypocrites over and over again due to their lack of integrity...their inconsistencies...particularly in light of their roles as leaders. Jesus didn't overlook their lack of integrity. If anything, He actually held them to a higher level of accountability as leaders. Teachers, administrators, and parents are leaders of our youth. We should not expect Jesus' standards for us to be anything less than those He had for the Pharisees.
A close and honest look at ourselves will quickly lead us to the realization that it is not possible to be people of deep integrity through any power of our own. We truly need a Savior; we need His strength, wisdom, courage, and perseverance to be the people of God that we were designed to be. Our children need us to rely on Jesus for the ability to be people of integrity. Our reliance will serve as a reminder for our children when they also are faced with difficult decisions.