The Cape Town Commitment, when reflecting on Integrity, issues this call:
“We call on all church and mission leaders to resist the temptation to be less than totally truthful in presenting our work. We are dishonest when we exaggerate our reports with unsubstantiated statistics, or twist the truth for the sake of gain. We pray for a cleansing wave of honesty and the end of such distortion, manipulation and exaggeration. We call on all who fund spiritual work not to make unrealistic demands for measurable and visible results, beyond the need for proper accountability. Let us strive for a culture of full integrity and transparency. We will choose to walk in the light and truth of God, for the Lord tests the heart and is pleased with integrity.”
We cannot build the kingdom of God – a kingdom of truth – on the foundation of dishonesty. Yet in our craving for ‘success’ and ‘results’ we are tempted to sacrifice our integrity, with distorted or exaggerated claims that amount to lies. We forget that “the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:9). The Gospel of Mark recounts a story in which Jesus challenges a system which lacked integrity:
“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, ‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.’” Mark 12:15-17
Jesus’ anger is directed specifically at the pious religious leaders, those who should have been guaranteeing that the temple would be open to “all nations” and that business would not be turned into robbery. Most likely these religious leaders were personally benefitting from the unjust arrangement! Jesus cleansing the temple of corruption is a radical call to integrity.
Pray that, in the pressure to perform and get results, we will strive for a culture of transparency and integrity. Pray for advocates to stand up and confront corruption in private, civil, and religious organizations. Pray that as we partner with each other through The Lausanne Movement, across national, regional, and global offices that we will serve with hearts of humility, and integrity. Pray that the global body of Christ will grow in their joy of living lives of radical integrity, built on Gospel foundations and resulting in the global glory of Christ.
This blog is a part of the Lausanne Global Prayer Focus. We invite you to journey with The Lausanne Movement in prayer throughout the month of May. This journey will be a personal one, and a collective one. It will be focused on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, his good news for all people. [More from here]