17 Nov #095 – Integriosity – Restore – The Fruit
ESSENCE: RESTORE is the fourth and final step in the path of Integriosity.® It is about seeing the bigger WHY’s of work and business materialize and manifest in an organization that has been RE-IMAGINED and RE-ALIGNED with Biblical beliefs, values and priorities based upon a RENEWED understanding of God’s purpose for work and business. It is the narrow “ancient path” back to our design–back to our humanity, back to beauty and back to our ultimate purpose of glorying the God in whose image we were created. RESTORE is called a “step” in the Integriosity process, but it is really the product of the first three steps–it is the fruit. That fruit can be seen in People, in the Organization and in Work Relationships. It is people Humanized, the world Beautified and God Glorified. The fruit of faithfully “doing right” through business a better way–the fruit of Integriosity–is to participate in God’s restoration plan for His Kingdom. Work matters! Business matters! Organizations matter!
We call RESTORE a “step” in the Integriosity process, but it is really the product of the first three steps–it is the fruit. That fruit can be seen in People, in the Organization and in Work Relationships. It is people Humanized, the world Beautified and God Glorified.
RESTORE: Fruit of the “Ancient Path”
For those who have been following these posts since the beginning, you may remember we provided a “teaser” on the RESTORE step of Integriosity® way back in post #006. But it was even further back–in post #001–when we first described Integriosity. We said:
It is going back to Biblical basics and then rolling up our sleeves to see how to actually implement them “back at the office” in a way that humanizes people, adds beauty to the world and glorifies God. It is seeking an “ancient path” referenced in Jeremiah 6:16.
Integriosity is an “ancient path” back to our design–back to our humanity, back to beauty and back to our ultimate purpose of glorying the God in whose image we were created. We believe the “ancient path” of Integriosity–of faithfully “doing right” through business a better way–is not only “ancient” but also “narrow”–like the “narrow gate” in Matthew 7:13-14 that leads to “life”. The fruit of faithfully “doing right” through business a better way brings “life” for God’s creation–humanity and the world.
The RESTORE step is really about seeing the bigger WHY’s of work and business materialize and manifest in an organization that has been RE-IMAGINED and RE-ALIGNED based upon a RENEWED understanding of God’s purpose for work and business. In various posts, we have talked about the three bigger WHY’s of work and business. Here are just a few:
Post #052 (Kingdom–Role of Work, Business and Redemption)
Post #053 (Loving Generously–Faithful Presence)
These bigger WHY’s are so central to the message of Integriosity that they are at the center of the Integrous mission statement–“to humanize people, beautify the world and glorify God by encouraging and assisting leaders and organizations to do the same through Integriosity® and in the Way of Jesus.”
RESTORE: The Three Bigger WHY’s Revisited
Let’s just refresh our recollection (or do a catch-up for those newer to these posts):
- Humanize: God created work as a good thing and created people to work. People are more “fully human” when engaged in meaningful work that unleashes their God-given productivity and creativity in a culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity.
- Beautify: God created a world that flourishes through our productivity and creativity and then commanded us to be instruments of its flourishing. An organization adds to the beauty of the world and assists in God’s restorative plan for His Kingdom by creating opportunities, goods and services that help families and communities to flourish and by extending its culture of Shalom to all people it touches. In the process, the work of the organization takes on deeper meaning for its own people.
- Glorify: If people are called to glorify God in all they do and “love their neighbor”, then organizations must exist to do the same. An organization does so principally through serving people–by providing opportunities for individuals to express aspects of their God-given identities in creative and meaningful work, by providing opportunities, goods and services that enable families and communities to flourish and by creating a culture of Shalom conducive to the flourishing of all people it touches.
Purpose is About Service. As we pointed out in post #057 (Love by Serving–Purpose of Work and Business), the bigger WHYs reflect both an internal and an external way in which an organization serves–the internal as “HUMANIZE” and the external as “BEAUTIFY”. An organization faithfully “doing right” SERVES people internally by providing opportunities for individuals to express aspects of their God-given identities in creative and meaningful work in a culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity and SERVES people externally by providing opportunities, goods and services that enable families and communities to flourish and by creating a culture of Shalom conducive to the flourishing of ALL people it touches, including owners, vendors, customers and communities. In doing so, the organization GLORIFIES God.
Service is About Flourishing. We also noted the wonderful way in which humanizing and beautifying create a virtuous circle–the promotion and facilitation by an organization of flourishing internally serves to promote and facilitate further flourishing externally and the promotion and facilitation of flourishing externally serves to promote and facilitate further flourishing internally. For example, by SERVING through the creation of goods and services that beautify the world, an organization increases the sense of BIGGER PURPOSE felt by its employees, thereby facilitating humanizing. Similarly, by SERVING through the creation of an organizational culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity that humanizes its employees, an organization facilitates flourishing of its people that leads to better physical and mental health, better family relationships and stronger communities, thereby beautifying the world.
Enter by the narrow gate. . . . For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)
RESTORE: The Fruit of Bigger WHYs
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “restore” as “to return something or someone to an earlier good condition.” The fruit of faithfully “doing right” through business a better way–the fruit of Integriosity–is to participate in God’s restoration plan for His Kingdom (post #045 Kingdom–Bigger Gospel).
We need look no further than Genesis to understand “an earlier good condition” (post#046 Kingdom–Lessons from Creation–Why Are We Here). Humanity was created in God’s image to flourish, and work was created before the Fall as a good thing–a way to reflect our humanity as God’s productive and creative image-bearers. We need look no further than our workplace to understand how far the world and humanity are from God’s original design–work is broken (post #007), workplaces are broken (post #008), and workers are breaking (post #009). And we need look no further than Revelation to understand God’s restoration plan (post #050 Kingdom–Where We Are Going–A Restored City).
Work matters! Business matters! Organizations matter! We have the opportunity to humanize people, beautify the world and glorify God through the way in which we work and the way in which we conduct business and lead organizations. Every decision has the potential to move God’s Kingdom a little closer to God’s perfect Restoration. The alternative to faithfully “doing right” through business a better way is business as usual. We believe that is a “wide” path.
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. (Matthew 7:13)
It is time to begin executing “business a better way” in alignment with Biblical beliefs, values and priorities–it is time to begin RESTORING by faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity.®
SPOILER ALERT: In our next several posts, we will explore how faithfully “doing right” through business a better way can RESTORE People, Organizations and Work Relationships, as well as what Humanizing and Beautifying look like.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): You may have noticed that the Integrous mission makes reference to “the Way of Jesus”. Before anybody started calling anybody “Christians” (remember, Jesus was not a “Christian”–He was a Jewish rabbi and is the Messiah–THE Christ), followers of Jesus were referred to as “followers of the Way“. We see this referenced in a few Bible passages:
“If he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:2)
“I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women.” (Acts 22:4)
“But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets.” (Acts 24:14)
In John 14:6, Jesus famously says that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Back in post #28, I shared that at the 2020 Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit, Anne Snyder (wife of author David Brooks) made a statement that keeps replaying in my mind–she quoted John 14:6 and then offered that the church has spent most of its time focused on “the Truth” of Jesus and perhaps needed to spend more time focused on “the Way” of Jesus. I thought her observation was incredibly profound.
Integriosity is about RE-IMAGINING and RE-ALIGNING the Purpose, Values and Culture of an organization in a way that is different from the way of the world–it is business a better way in alignment with the “ancient path” marked by Biblical beliefs, values and priorities. That “ancient path” starts in Genesis (Jesus the Jewish rabbi helps us understand it in a new way). The seeds of that path are implanted deep within every person, because every person was created in the image of God. As Tim Keller points out in his book Every Good Endeavor:
People have innate consciences that are preloaded with senses of honesty, justice, love, the Golden Rule, and so on. . . . This universal knowledge of God and of good—this aspect of natural revelation—has been called “first-order beliefs.” All people hold these beliefs at some level, even if their conscious, intellectual, culturally conditioned “second-order beliefs” deny them utterly.
I included “the Way of Jesus” in the Integrous mission statement to emphasize that Integriosity is about heart and action (and an integrity of heart and action) more than it is about the theological Truth of Jesus. Faithfully “doing right” through business a better way does not require a leader to be “saved” (or even to believe “saving” is a thing) or be a “Christian” or even to believe that Jesus is God or is the Messiah. What it requires is opening your heart and mind to allow the God of the Bible–the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–to reveal those deeply implanted “first-order beliefs”–RENEWING your mind (and heart) about God’s purpose for work, for humanity and for His creation. And then it requires being courageous enough to get on that narrow “ancient path”–the Way of Jesus.
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Photo Credit: Original photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash