21 Apr #065 – Integriosity – RENEW—Four Principles and Eight Keys
ESSENCE: A key element of the RENEW step of Integriosity® is re-ordering disordered priorities by looking at Biblical principles for work and business. It is important to go back to first principles by asking what the Bible tells us are the keys to everything else. The key Biblical principles that form the foundation of Integriosity are embedded in the word itself–Integrity (and its components Righteousness and Kingdom) and Generosity (and its components Love and Humility). They are the priorities we need to “keep first”. We believe there are eight keys that will help a faith-driven organizational leader bust myths, unlock truth, and identify Placebos on the path to faithfully “doing right”–they flow from what a BIGGER Gospel teaches us about the things that really matter to God and about how He wants us to care for and cultivate those things.
The last 26 posts (#039-#064) have been devoted to the RENEW step of Integriosity® and Keep First Things First. We started out by saying that a key element of the RENEW step of Integriosity is re-ordering disordered priorities, and that in looking at Biblical principles for work and business, we believe it is important to go back to first principles by asking what the Bible tells us are the keys to everything else. And then we have to Keep First Things First by pursuing those first principles and not the “everything else”!
This is a good time to stop and look back on the four principles and eight keys that we should take with us as we head into the final RENEW topic–the five key Mind-Shifts necessary to faithfully “do right” in leading an organization.
The key Biblical principles that form the foundation of Integriosity are embedded in the word itself–Integrity (and its components Righteousness and Kingdom) and Generosity (and its components Love and Humility). They are the priorities we need to “keep first”. As we noted in post #039, the two “Integrity Priorities” are God-focused and the two “Generosity Priorities” are people-focused.
- Seeking the righteousness of God
- Seeking the Kingdom of God
- Loving our neighbor
- Exhibiting humility in our dealings with others
Here are some simplified take-aways:
- RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Why” matters. To faithfully “do right”, it is not enough to “do the right thing”–a leader needs to do the right thing, in the right way and for the right reasons (See posts #040, #041, #042, #043 and #044)
- KINGDOM: Work and business matter. God’s BIGGER Gospel reveals why our work and business has eternal significance. (See posts #045, #046, #047, #048, #049, #050, #051 and #052)
- LOVE: The “Why” of work and business is serving others. It is wrapped up in Humanize, Beautify, Glorify. (See posts #053, #054, #055, #056, #057, #058 and #059)
- HUMILITY: The key to the “How” of Righteousness, Kingdom and Love. Humility is a gating item in order for a leader to faithfully “do right”. (See posts #060, #061, #062, #063, #064)
I have also come to recognize that the Bible is that all-important source of the values and principles of successful business. (Ken Eldred)
Looking even further back, we explored various aspects of business as usual and faith as usual, including the Placebos that lead to Side Roads and keep a leader and their organization off the ancient path of business a better way. Putting this together with our lessons from Keep First Things First, we think there are eight keys that will help a faith-driven organizational leader bust myths, unlock truth, and identify Placebos on the path to faithfully “doing right”.
- “Stuff” Matters to God. After all, He made all of it and then commanded us to add our creativity and productivity to rearrange it into things that Beautify the world. That means work and business that creates “stuff” matters. It also means that the “stuff” of God’s creation matters.
- Work/Business Matter to God. Remember, God created work before the Fall as a good thing, humans were created to work just like their Creator, God created the earth to need human cultivation, humans were created for community in the image of a relational Creator, and business is a platform for working together in community toward a common purpose.
- We Are Stewards. Every organization and all natural capital belongs to God, and humans are charged in the Creation Mandate with caring for it and cultivating it. Of course, this means that the care and cultivation needs to further the purpose of the owner–not the goals of the cultivator.
- Flourishing Matters to God. Humans are called to be more than just “good”–we are called to be “Godly”, creating environments of Shalom conducive to the flourishing of others by loving our neighbors. Work and organizations exist as part of God’s design for the flourishing of humans and communities.
- Culture Matters to God. Culture is about relationships, and God is about relationship. Culture is one of the things we build in obedience to the Creation Mandate.
- Restoration Matters to God. A BIGGER Gospel shows that we are called to participate in God’s restoration plan for His Kingdom. As a platform for productivity and creativity, business is important to facilitating our participation in that plan, which itself makes us more fully human and promotes human flourishing.
- It’s About Flourishing Not Profit. God is relational, and Genesis is about relationships. Nothing in Genesis supports profit as a purpose for work or for work in community through organizations. Work and organizations exist as part of God’s design for the flourishing of humans and communities.
- It’s Not About “Looking” Godly. God cares about the heart–the heart of a person and the heart of an organization–far more than the appearance. Good stewardship from a Godly heart may lead an organization to adopt practices that are more covert about their faith-driven purpose.
SPOILER ALERT: We will close out the first step of Integriosity–RENEW–by looking at the five key Mind-Shifts necessary to lead an organization to faithfully “do right”.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): Priorities! Priorities! Priorities! As I think about my life, disordered priorities have often been at the root of trials, fears, mistakes and missed opportunities.
- Relational Priorities. In post #039, I explained how I discovered disordered priorities (literally upside down priorities) when my marriage was disintegrating in 2003.
- Time Priorities. Today is far more important than Tomorrow (or Yesterday). When I prioritize Tomorrow, I can miss what God has for me Today. When I worry about Tomorrow before it comes, I can be robbed of Today’s joy (W. Paul Young wrote a wonderful post about what happens when we “future-trip” into Tomorrow). My friend Dan Tocchini taught me “Your Today is robbed by your expectation of a Tomorrow”–I can put off doing what I should do Today until a Tomorrow that never comes.
- Kingdom Priorities. I can either prioritize the pursuit of God’s Kingdom or Paul’s kingdom–guess which one works best.
- Identity Priorities. I can be a lawyer first, doing it in a Christian way (a Christian lawyer) or I can prioritize my identity as a son of the King (a follower of Jesus currently disguised as a lawyer).
I am sure there are others. I will never forget a talk at the 2005 New Canaan Society Annual Retreat by Ken Gire. Gire had written a book entitled Windows of the Soul. He talked about windows that God opens up for us as we go through life–we either pause to look through or they pass by, gone forever. I think some are actually doors we are meant to pass through. Disordered priorities is one of the things that can cause us to pass them by or miss them completely. One of my prayers each morning (usually before I even put my feet on the floor) is “Papa, order my day and my life to glorify You. Order my day and my life to help me be a better husband, father, son, friend and leader and to further the personal mission you have given me and the mission of Integrous. Don’t let me miss any of the doors and windows you are opening for me today. Amen”
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