It is said that reputation is on the outside and integrity is on the inside. Reputation is what others see you doing, and integrity is what you do when no one is watching. As Christians, we are called to live with integrity. We know that God is always watching what we do and so we live in such a way that will please him. We are more concerned with what is on the inside that what other perceive on the outside. Nehemiah was a man who lived with integrity, and he surrounded himself with men who lived that way as well.
I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.
After Nehemiah finished building the wall he set his brother over the city and Hananiah over the citadel. The citadel was a fortress that protected a city. This was important because there were those who opposed the work that Nehemiah was doing. He picked a man who was full of integrity and feared the Lord to oversee the armed forces. When it comes to leadership, these are the two essential ingredients. Integrity is the capital a leader uses to lead those under him. Integrity is all about our character. It’s doing the right thing. Leaders who lead with integrity work from an internal source that is guided by principles. They are persuaded by the opinions of the crowd but work to please the one they work for. Live with integrity in whatever you do.
The second ingredient of leading others is that we have a fear of God. To fear God means to have a reverent respect for who God is and what he is capable of. We concern ourselves with what he thinks and how we will have to answer for what we have done. It’s knowing he loves us, but at the same time we have submitted ourselves underneath him, and he ultimately is our judge. Live with integrity and fear God. Focusing on these two traits will get us farther down the path of maturity than anything else we can do.