In 1912 the Titanic sunk … I know that is a newsflash for everyone. The story line of course includes the ship hitting a massive iceberg, and the indestructible behemoth sinking. However, in 1997 researchers discovered the ship did NOT sink due to a massive hole in the side of the enormous ship. Nope. The ship sank because of 6 small slits in the steel plates … yep, many of the rivets used were defective. So, when the ship hit the iceberg, the metal plates bent ever so slightly upwards and let the water in. Again, the ship didn’t sink due to gigantic damage. It sank because of the smallest part of the ship … the rivets.
This is the same with our integrity … the slightest, smallest bending and twisting of our core values … can cause the greatest of damage to our kingdom born path.
To me, integrity is best defined as … what you do when nobody else except God is watching! We often get fooled into thinking … nobody is going to see XYZ! Look, nobody on board that great ship saw the little rivets … most didn’t even know or care that the ship had rivets … but each and every person on that ship felt the impact of the rivet’s imperfections.
In that light, some things in our lives must be flat out, non-negotiable … our spiritual integrity must be closely guarded. Why? Because each of us have a path. Each of us have a calling. Each of us are to advance the kingdom. Remember, the kingdom is INSIDE of us (Luke 17:21). So each time you HELP or bless someone else … you have advanced the kingdom! You may be called to advance 5 people in the kingdom – or 5 million people! Yet each and every person you are destined to impact … needs you. If your rivets fail, your personal impact on their lives will get detoured, delayed, or even sunk. Your smallest of rivet failures impacts the largest of plans in the kingdom.
The enemy knows this … and he will attack your tiny spiritual rivets. He will bend and twist your values. He will distort The Truth. He will distort your view of yourself. He will distort your kingdom role and your purpose. He will distort your God! In fact, he will try everything he can to rust your tiny rivets right out … without you even being aware of it. Look, when do people finally figure out that their fence is rotten? When it falls down!
We must know who we are, what we stand for – and WHO we stand for! Big obstacles, big dangers, the gigantic things that can destroy us … those are super easy to avoid. Ummmm, not hard to miss those. But the smallest of imperfections in our rivets, can sink the greatest of plans that God has for us. The spiritual rivets that hold our core being together … those must remain solid. If the rivets go bad, the whole ship is sunk.
For me, the gospel of Grace – in the person of Jesus – is a non-negotiable. For me, leaving the organized church is a non-negotiable. For me, the blood being perfect is a non-negotiable. For me, my sins being paid for long before I was ever born is a non-negotiable. For me, refusing to damage people with religion is a non-negotiable. For me, putting God’s desires ahead of man’s desires is a non-negotiable. For me, knowing that I died at the cross and that I get no will of my own is a non-negotiable. For me, wanting to see nations fall in love with His Grace … is a non-negotiable.
HE is my non-negotiable.
I won’t and can’t be perfect … but I trust my rivets to the One who is perfect!
Proverbs 11:3 (NIV)
3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.