Reputation of Teachers (from verses 7 & 8):
“In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
A person’s reputation is something of great value. It is valuable to the person, to God, and if the person is a Teacher, then great value to the Christian school. Paul tells in this passage why it is so valuable, and tells the two ingredients needed to have a valued reputation, the first is integrity:
- Integrity Firm adherence to a code of especially moral values. An unimpaired condition. The quality or state of being complete or undivided. (Merriam-Webster)
Integrity includes honesty, incorruptibility, soundness, sincerity, righteousness, and completeness. As a Christian, integrity is when Scripture, your heart, your words, and your deeds are all in harmony.
When you search the Bible for the word “integrity” you find it in these contexts”
- “Integrity of heart” 1 Kings 9:4
- “Job is still keeping hold of his integrity” Job 2:3
- “until I die, I will not retract my integrity” Job 27:5
- “judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity in me.” Psalm 7:8
- “You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever” Psalm 41:12
- “The integrity of the upright shall guide them; but the crookedness of traitors shall destroy them.” Proverbs 11:3
- “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” Proverbs 19:1
- “The just walks in his integrity; his sons are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7
Several places in Scripture you will find the phrase “integrity of heart”. The heart is where integrity starts, and is where integrity comes from. Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.” Ponder that passage for a while.
In our passage from Titus, Paul said “In your teaching show integrity” The teaching at your Christian school should show integrity, honesty, incorruptibility, soundness, righteousness, and completeness.
When General H. Norman Schwarzkopf was asked what he thought was wrong with America, he responded with “a lack of integrity”. One of the qualities of a sound school is to have integrity as teachers and staff, and to teach students to have integrity. Signs of a Teacher having integrity are they have control of the situation and the classroom. They model Jesus in all they say and do. They model the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). They are consistent with those fruits of the spirit, as well as consistent with their actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcome they expect. Integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy. If successful, with God’s help (and He WILL help, because integrity of the heart is so important to Him) Teachers, and by extension, their school, will be a “light unto the world”. Possibly even a remedy for what is wrong in our society, and in America.
“And this I pray, that your love may yet abound more and more in full knowledge and all discernment, for you to distinguish the things that differ, that you may be sincere and without blame for the day of Christ, being filled with fruits of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11
Copyright 2012 Kevin Brownlee