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Wear the Belt of Truth

Cool BeltI once had a conversation with some Amish gentlemen who were apparently having fun with my lack of knowledge about their culture. “Know why we wear these black suspenders?,” one asked, to which I replied, “No, why?” “To hold our pants up!,” he said as he and his friends LOL’d.

We would assume that belts are made for the same purpose, but in the day in which Paul encouraged us to…

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,…

– Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)

…belts were an important piece of armor for the typical Roman soldier. While the purpose of a sword or a shield may seem obvious, the purpose of a belt was partly emotional – it gave confidence to the soldier. They would use wide leather belts, get them wet and cinch them up tight so that as they dried, they would be even tighter. That feeling of being surrounded and supported gave them a greater sense of strength in battle.

This is what truth does for us. This is what integrity does for us in our lives. When we’re living with integrity, which means to be one person all the time, honoring truth no matter what, we walk confidently. But when we lack integrity, we’re afraid we’ll be found out and we live with the fear that the real us will be exposed and injured.

Don’t go into battle without your integrity intact. This is an area where we grow by soaking up God’s truth and being honest about who we are with others around us. Integrity matters, so wear the belt of truth today.

Every Pastor Should Read ‘Note to Self’

Note to Self by Joe Thorn“Preaching it” is easier than living it. This creates significant problems when our speaking talent outweighs our personal character. Therefore, it is imperative that we, as shepherds, shepherd ourselves – that we hear the Word, do the Word, and preach to ourselves first. That’s why I love Joe Thorn’s book Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Re: Lit Books).

We often buy books to help us prepare sermons. You should buy this book to help prepare yourself. The book is divided into three sections, all revolving around the gospel. The first section leads our hearts to assume a posture of praise. The second teaches us how the gospel impacts our relationships with other people. The third reminds us of the impact the gospel should have on self. Here’s a line we need to hear concerning our wives…

You should seek to be the brightest representation of Jesus she sees, as you represent Christ as Savior and servant to her. That would look like seeking her out when you get home from work, instead of seeking solace for yourself. It means affirming her calling and gifts, listening to her, speaking words of encouragement to her, and at all times working for her good. Jesus loves you this way, and in like manner you are called to love your wife.

The gospel is not simply a salvation message intended for people who are lost and apart from Christ. The gospel is the central core of all that we are in Christ and all that we do for Christ. Believers need to be fed from the message of the gospel, and this book drives it home in the hearts of those of us who are most at risk for taking the gospel for granted – preachers.

Grab A Copy

How Important Is Character In Leadership?

There was a recent study that suggested that power increases “moral hypocrisy.” That giving a person power makes that person feel entitled and causes a disconnect in their judgment. It also says that those in high-power positions tend to judge morality of others while not practicing what they preach.

As if everyone NOT in power practices what they preach.

Though I don’t agree completely with the study I will say this: character is a necessity in leadership.

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A Living Definition of Integrity

Like math? An integer is a whole number, right? Our word integrity comes from the same root as the word integer. Integrity is really the concept of being whole, of being one, or of being the same all the time. D. L. Moody said that character is who we are in the dark.

Integrity is the foundation for our relationships as well as our reputation. Much is at stake every time we make another moral choice. Do what is right and it will probably cost you. Do what is wrong and it will most likely cost you far more.

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The High Road Principle by John Maxwell