This past Saturday at Ox Strong we were able to have 20 of us in attendance, which included one new attendee. James did a fabulous job explaining to us what integrity is and looks like. Let me encourage you to pay close attention to his explanation on integrity and morals. When taking into consideration in the Bible that David was a man after God’s own heart…we should remember that David was a man of integrity, but maybe sometimes his morals reflected a moving and unstable bridge. I’m sure many of us can relate, right? The Bible records for us moments when David and others let their guards down. We see and hear about individuals doing the same in our world today. The news can’t wait to point their finger at someone who momentarily let their guard down. They can’t wait to bring someone’s integrity into question. Who among us is perfect? Who among us hasn’t let our guard down at some point in our lives? Who among us enjoys having our lives exposed for all to see? So, rather than joining in with spreading gossiping news, what are some ways in which we can approach the downfall of others? Love on them. Pray for them and their family members (it affects so many other people than just the one who chose to let his/her guard down). Other suggestions?
Time and time again many throughout the New Testament were just waiting for Jesus to slip up so they could point their finger at Him, and make a public example out of him. Our days are not much different. I know we’re not perfect, but let’s strive to never give others any reason to point their finger in our direction. When others fall, may we be an example of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, rather than judging and casting stones.
Practicing His Presence,
Here’s the link to view and listen to James’ challenge.
Here are the notes James used that morning…
Hello, as Nate said, I am James Bamber. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be an engineer. I graduated from Iowa State in May of 2019 with a mechanical engineering degree, and now I am a manufacturing engineer at Vermeer Corporation in the supplier validation and reliability group. I have been coming to Ox Strong every now and then for a while, but not near as often as I would have liked. In those times, there were many stories of God moving and working in others’ lives and blessings in disguise. That said, when Nate approached me a couple of months ago about the opportunity to speak about integrity, my immediate thoughts were, “Why me? What do I have to offer? I thought and prayed about it, and obviously I told him yes. Later, Scott and Lisa shared similar thoughts that went through their minds when Nate asked them to speak. This made me think, “I am not the only one. God is on the move.” I will talk about the definition of integrity, integrity in engineering, and integrity in the bible, so please bear with me as we get through the definition section.
Even though I have only two and a half years of working experience in my field, I have seen many examples of varying levels of integrity. I say varying levels of integrity, but what does that mean? Integrity has multiple uses depending on the situation, but the two main ideas are that integrity is an “adherence to moral and ethical principles” and “the state of being whole” or sound in construction. Sometimes in engineering, certain definitions for things do not actually help or provide the whole picture of the idea of the term or process. It is always important to break things down to the basics, so now what are the definitions for moral and ethical. Moral is defined as “concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character” and “A person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.” Ethical reduces to ethics which is “A set of moral principles” or “A guiding philosophy.” Your integrity is based on your morals which determine your ethics which shows what things you deem acceptable and not acceptable to do. Therefore, integrity is neither good nor bad. Integrity is only strong or weak. I say this because inserting the definitions of moral and ethics into the definition of integrity, makes the definition read an adherence to, one, a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do and an adherence to, two, the principles of a person’s guiding philosophy. A corrupt person can have strong integrity based on morals such as greed, power, cheating, etc. Even though we, according to our morals, say those are bad morals, those are acceptable morals to them and so they act that way. At the same time, a person can have weak integrity with morals such as honesty, sharing, caring, etc. If they know that their colleague deliberately said something incorrect to make themselves look better, but say nothing, they may be exemplifying both strong and weak integrity. If they are an honest person, it is weak integrity because they did not speak up and present the truth. However, if one of their morals is not correcting people in group settings but instead doing it privately, if the person follows up then it is strong integrity. Therefore, not only is integrity based on morals, but some morals in situations can cause you to pick which morals are more important to you which causes the integrity of people to vary.
Both definitions of integrity are important for engineering. An engineer should have strong integrity built on honest and fair morals, and their products should have integrity in which they are of sound design and creation. There is an organization called the Order of the Engineer which strives to instill these values in engineers. It was inspired by the Canadian “Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer.” The ritual started in Canada because of the Quebec Bridge collapsing. It killed multiple workers and failed due to dishonest practices and desires. The Quebec Bridge is not the only bridge in history to collapse, nor is it the only failure of engineering design and manufacturing. Most notable examples are collapsing buildings due to not using expansion joints, bridges collapsing or even bridges producing wavelike motions due various factors. The Order of the Engineer seeks to remind engineers and hold engineers to an oath to prevent such catastrophes from occurring. The oath is as follows, “I am an Engineer. In my profession I take deep pride. To it I owe solemn obligations. As an Engineer, I pledge to practice integrity and fair dealing, tolerance, and respect; and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of the Earth’s precious wealth. As an Engineer, I shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give my utmost.” On top of the oath, there is a ring that is worn on the fifth figure of the dominate hand. Originally, the rings were not stainless steel, so they would rust if not properly cared for, but now they are and serve as a purpose to remind engineers not only of their oath but to continuously learn and grow in their field and not “rust.” I have currently misplaced mine as you can see (show hand). It has not prevented me from remembering my duty to my field. If an engineer is dishonest or lacks godly morals, then the best-case scenario is that a colleague is upset or reports them. The worst-case scenario is that someone dies. Therefore, integrity is important in engineering.
As Christians, morals and integrity are even more important in our everyday lives than in engineering. God, through the bible, has told us how to live our lives. The Law, of which none of us can achieve, sets forth the morals that we should have. Only Jesus has and only Jesus will only ever be the one to live up to and exceed the Law. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus takes the commandments and pushes them even farther to show that it matters that the morals and ideals we have need to be in our hearts and not just in our outward appearance. If our morals are not aligned with God’s morals, then we cannot follow His directive to go and make disciples. If our morals match God’s morals, then we still need to have strong integrity to follow those morals and show others the reality of true Christians acting in love towards others. Only Jesus has ever shown perfect integrity. I am sure that many of us could easily name many times where we had an opportunity to talk about God or to follow our morals, but we had weak integrity and did not speak up. We have a duty to bring others to Christ. If we have weak integrity and do not follow God’s morals, we doom others who have not known God to an eternal life in Hell. Therefore, it is more important to have integrity in our everyday lives than in the creation or manufacturing of a product. If a product fails, someone might die. If we failed to do what we were called to do, then that person goes to Hell. In short, if we do not do our human given duties, someone might die. If we do not due our God given duties, someone goes to Hell for eternity.
Nate likes his challenges, so I will wrap up with a couple questions. Are your morals aligned with God’s morals? Do you desire the same things He does? How strong is your integrity? If it is weak, what is keeping it from being strong? Once you have these answers, talk to someone close to you. Do they agree? Is your outward and inward appearance the same? If not, why is it different? Remember, it is imperative that we have strong integrity with God’s morals so that we can save all those that can be saved just as we were saved so that they are not doomed to an eternity in Hell and the ability to do that starts with our hearts.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter