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Integrity in Leadership

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2023 9:00 am

Integrity in Leadership

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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March 7, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the importance of integrity in every aspect of life and how Joseph was a prime example of integrity in the Bible.

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Hey, everybody. Today is Tuesday, March the 7th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can also email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.

That's right. We want you guys to help us keep this conversation going. You can do that by supporting the podcast, sharing it online. Leave us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere where you get your podcasting content. And we're going to leave a link in the description so you can do just that. Absolutely. Oh, go ahead. I was just going to say, if you're not already, make sure you follow us on social media, Facebook and Instagram as well. You'll find lots of great stuff to share there, as well as the video podcast on Facebook and YouTube now.

So make sure if you're not already, subscribe to our YouTube channel and share those videos. I was going to give you a big, big setup, but instead, just go ahead and read the verse of the day. Sorry, I just made things fall flat.

No, it is what it is. So the verse of the day today comes from Colossians chapter two, verse 10, and you are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power. I think that's what all of us ultimately are looking for is completeness, is fulfillment.

That's why we spend our lives filling it with entertainment and loved ones and experiences and travel and food and whatever else you can fill in the blank with. But Paul is reminding us here that you find your completeness in Jesus. I was going to say God, but really it's even more specifically, it's Jesus Christ who is the head of all principality and power. He's the head of everything.

Absolutely. It's through him that we have that relationship, that union with God restored. We were created with the desire for the eternal.

And when we try to satisfy that with temporary things, we're left feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied because we were designed for relationship with God. It's a very deep truth. Speaking of deep truths, I had a conversation yesterday with David.

If anybody's unfamiliar with the show, David is our engineer. It was, I think, supposed to be deep. I think it was supposed to be philosophical, but I walked away confused. I didn't want to make fun of him to his face because I was like, I think he's trying to say something profound here. So I thought, why don't I make fun of him on the radio?

I'm perfect. But I knew what he was, let me rephrase that. I somewhat knew what he was trying to get at. So David, I'm going to ask, will you ask our listener, will you ask Ryan and by extension our listeners, what you were trying to ask me yesterday?

What I was trying to ask, it was Sunday night. We had finished services and we were just kind of sitting there and I got to looking at like Gavin, like a little bit of Gavin. And I was, I got to thinking about, you know, what, what is he thinking? How like conscious or self-aware is he?

Those kinds of things. And the thought crossed my mind to ask John, have you ever experienced a moment where you're sitting or you're, you're reading or you're playing a video game or you're literally just doing anything where your mind is kind of turned off. And then you have this moment of like snap awareness of yourself and it's like, okay, I'm David. I'm an eternal soul.

I have like a purpose in this life, something I'm doing, you know, God has put me here and I'm me and I'm like an individual that is not other people, but I'm still connected to other people somehow. You know, and I asked him, have you ever had that? No, no. You asked me if Gavin has ever had that. Okay. It started with Gavin.

Who is a two year old. It started with Gavin. No, he has not.

Absolutely not. Gavin doesn't have existential thoughts. Also. But then it went on after, after Gavin, I asked about you.

Yes. And also it was like late. You were very tired. You weren't making a lot of sense right now.

I feel like we were kind of coffeed up and we're okay. But he was like, do you ever just think like, I'm me? You know what I'm saying? I'm me and I've got like a soul and I'm playing a game right now, but I have a purpose and stuff. Like I'm literally David.

And I was like, what the heck are you saying? So I have had moments where it just sort of dawns on me. Like I am, I have my own fully formed life. I have a family unit that I'm responsible for, but there are billions of other people in the world who are the center of their own universes.

They are the main characters in their stories and some of them I don't even enter into their thoughts. Yeah. Like there are people in the world that I have no concept of and they had no concept of me, but they have this fully formed life with thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, and they're, they're wrapped up in their own world. There's a name for that. Hold on. I can find a word. Just this sudden, sudden existential realization. Like I have my own fully formed mental landscape, but I am maybe at best a third tier character in other people's stories.

Like while you're looking that up, I'm going to challenge everybody listening on the radio and everybody listening on the podcast, wherever you're listening. Just take a second. Sonder. That's the, that's the name. When you realize, when you realize that everybody is their own individual person, it's called Sonder.

Take a second, close your eyes and then just think about your reality and your existence and who you are and try to have that moment of self-awareness, but don't close your eyes if you're driving. Yeah. I don't really know where to go from there. Hey, you want to just read the question? You want to just go to the question of the day? That was deep.

That was like 14 deep. Like I'm going to scribble that in my notebook and make a novel out of it later. Question of the day is coming in from Gerald J and he's asking, Dr. Shah, what theologian or preacher has impacted your life and ministry the most? Ooh, that's a great question. So we're going to grab Dr. Shah. We're going to answer that question at the end of the episode to make sure you stay tuned. We've got a great episode planned for you guys today, but if you have any questions or suggestions, make sure you send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com.

We'll be right back. Hey everyone, my name's Ellie and I'm David. We want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clearview today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clearview church is to lead all people into a life changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, first John 5, 15 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clearview today show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clearview and share your prayer requests, but the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at clearviewbc.org, or you can download the Clearview app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abhinand Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com.

If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today. It's good to be here. I'm glad to have you guys join me again. And you all do such a great job each time.

A lot of compliments coming in. I just want to say I'm grateful to you. Thank you, Dr. Shah. You are too good to us. I think you out there in listener land are too good to us too. Well, thank you, Dr. Shah.

If you guys are new and joining us today... Hold on, hold on, hold on. Are we going to continue with this? I can save it.

I can save it. Thank you so much, Dr. Shah. If you guys are new and joining us for the first time today, Dr. Abhinand Shah is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can find all his work on his website. That's AbhinandShah.com. That's right. You know, back on President's Day, I believe it was, many moons ago last week... Blue corn moons. Yes. We began talking about this idea of Christians in the political sphere, in the political realm, influencing the current events with our beliefs, with what we stand for. That kind of spilled over into other discussions about what that looks like, and ways that we can do that. One of the main ways that we've discussed here on the show, especially around election time, was going out and voting your conscience, voting biblical values, and especially looking for leaders who embody things like integrity. Integrity is kind of a buzzword when we talk about leadership and what it means to be a leader, but we want to dive in today and talk about what integrity truly looks like, and how we can cultivate that as believers and as leaders.

Well, let's begin by asking that question. Do you think we need integrity in our nation's leadership? Yes, absolutely.

You know, we do. And so, based on that fact, we need to talk about leadership, about integrity in leadership, because I know we need it in our church setting, in our local setting, but also definitely in our nation's leadership. I'm starting to see, the older that I get, why people who have lived through so much in their lives, they can see that the long game, you know what I mean?

They've got years and years of experience, and they see that the standards have ultimately dropped. The standards of what was acceptable and what was a leader of integrity back then is not nearly what it is now. Yeah. And the thing is, yes, there have been leaders in the past, our nation's history, who messed up and who did not live right. So yes, of course, we cannot say that everybody in the past was just amazing and just perfect people.

Of course not. But just because people here and there have messed up doesn't mean that we need to lower the standards of leadership, what we expect of, I would say, the most powerful man on earth. Absolutely.

Right? I mean, of course, I can say a father is the most powerful man on earth or a pastor in his community is the most powerful man on earth. But really, if you're talking about just going by sheer impact, the President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world. So we are to expect more from those who are in leadership. Not just the president, but all people.

Absolutely. That role of elected leader. I mean, there's an implied level of trust. When you elect somebody to represent you, the term is representative. When you elect somebody to represent you, you trust this person is going to have my best interest in mind and is going to represent accurately my values or the values that they have run on, the platform that they run on. So when that level of integrity is not there, I mean, then that relationship of trust suffers.

Can I actually trust this person? Do I understand what they are claiming to represent? Right. Well, and if you talk about the definition of leadership, you know, what is the definition? I would say it is integrity is who you are when only God is watching.

Hmm. That's powerful. It's not just integrity is who you are when no one's watching because we know someone is always watching and that's God. So integrity is who you are when only God is watching and it refuses to join the crowd and chooses to stand alone. At times you have to say, yeah, that's fine.

If you don't want to reelect me or if you don't want to, you know, listen to me or support me, that's fine. I'm going to stand for the truth. And integrity rejects immediate gratifications and waits for ultimate gains. It recognizes the power of sin and distrust the power of self.

Right. And that's something that we all tend to, I think, gravitate towards is trying to have personal integrity. But I like what you said, Ryan, and what you're saying to Dr. Shah is that when you are an elected representative, you're trying to get as much of yourself and your own personality out of it because you're representing, you know, a people, a group of people.

And that's something that I think over the years we've tended to come away from. We just look at individuals. And if you look at individual integrity, people typically will say, well, that may be integrity for you, but it's not for me.

I don't hold myself to that standard. So they apply that to people across the board, even elected officials where now there is a standard of leadership and a standard of integrity and leadership that we're looking for. That's right. Well, I want us to look at Joseph's life.

Very familiar, right? Joseph, you know, he went from being sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused by Potiphar's wife, but then he became the second in command in Egypt. And I would say Egypt was on the top of the world at that time. It was the most powerful empire or kingdom. I would say it was the United States of those days, right? But with a different foundation because Egypt did not have the same Judeo-Christian biblical foundation. So it was different. Nonetheless, if you just go by sheer power, Egypt and Pharaoh was the most powerful man on earth at the time. Wow. So we are dealing with like the superpower of that time.

This was the premier nation. Right, right. Well, it all begins, Joseph's life begins with some of the dreams that he was having, right? His father loved him because he was his son of old age in the sense that, you know, he, you know, people with time, they change and they see life differently. And so Jacob had that sense of, you know, oh, this is my, this is the wife I was going to marry, you know, but my father-in-law kind of tricked me.

But here he is. So Joseph and Benjamin, his favorites. And of course, Joseph was very, very close to his dad. But here's what began to happen. Joseph started having dreams.

If you remember in Genesis 37 verse five, and he told it to his brothers. Now here's some lesson. Can I take a little rabbit trail here? Let's do it. You know, when you have a dream, I'm talking about a really deep, passionate dream that God gives you about something or some purpose he has for your life.

Be slow to share that with just anybody. That's right. Because there are people who are dream killers and they will destroy, they will tell you a thousand and one ways why it cannot happen. Well, Joseph decides to tell his brothers they hated him even more because they already didn't like him because his father, you know, sort of favored him and they couldn't speak peaceably to him. But now the dreams are, what are the dreams? They were binding sheaves, not sheeps, binding sheaves, right, in the field. And his sheaf arose and stood upright and the rest of the brothers bowed to him. And then he had another dream and this time the sun, moon and the stars, leaven stars bowed down to Joseph. So sun and moon are mom and dad.

Leaven stars are his brothers. So how do you think the brothers took that? Yeah, they didn't like that. Like any brothers would.

Yeah, true. They'd be like, well, who do you think you are? Like, you're one of us. I'm going to bow down to you. We're older than you. We've seen you grow up. Like, who are you talking to?

And mama and daddy are going to bow down to you. So it kind of went from bad to worse for him because now they really did not like him and they were waiting for that opportunity to hurt him. And it came, you know, it came when Jacob decided to send him to check on his sons. They were grazing the sheep somewhere near Shechem and he doesn't find them first, but then he directs them. Somebody directs them to him to go to Dothan, not Dothan, Alabama. Just want to clarify that.

So Dothan, Israel. And his brother saw him at a distance and they made up their minds that they were going to kill him. Wow.

You know, and I think about that. Kill him. They wanted to kill their own brother.

Yeah. You don't really think about how, like you think in the story, like they're just annoyed at him and they really just don't want him around. But they really, really had a problem with this guy. They're trying to kill their own brother.

What drives a person to do that? It's always, I mean, it's always famously reminded me of the other brother conflict that ended in murder. Like you have Cain and Abel and you know, to us it may be inconceivable. Like that's my sibling.

That's not just a friend. That's somebody who's my own flesh and blood, my family. What would drive someone to want to end the life of their sibling? But then here we are again when Joseph's brothers are poised to kill. I mean, take someone's life is evil itself. And I'm talking not as much about killing because you know, killing, soldiers have to do killing. This is part of that job that they have been given. But here is more like murder. That's what was happening. And they wanted to murder him.

Okay. And so they saw him come, they captured him, they got hold of him and Reuben talked them out of killing their brother. I mean, he said, you know, maybe I can come back and rescue him. And brothers are taking a nap or something going on.

So they threw him in a waterless pit. And then while all this is going on, Judah, another brother decides to talk them into selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites. There was a caravan passing by and just imagine that this, this rough looking bunch, like, like, like imagine, not all motorcyclists are like that, but cause some, some people just are, you know, weekend warriors just love to go out there and have a good time. But then there were at one time there were gangs, biker gangs and stuff. Imagine a biker gang coming by and you're saying like, take my son, take my brother. Go ahead.

That's what they did. Take him. How much money?

What do you want? Knowing what's about to happen, knowing what they're selling them into, it, it boggles my mind that envy can get that bad. Like, cause I've been envious of people. Like I know what that feels like, but to feel it that strongly, that's, that's, it's like you said, it's almost inconceivable.

That's an intense feeling. I mean, it just like is all consuming at that point. Like all logic and reasoning is gone and logic and reasoning is gone.

This is what I see. And this is the only acceptable solution. Yeah. The person has to die. His life has to end. Right.

And then I'll have peace. That's how they're feeling. That's pretty horrible. Yeah. Yeah. So evil.

And it's not just anybody anywhere, somewhere, you know, some, some despot or some dictator, some evil mass murderer, rapist or, you know, whatever. No, this is your own brother. Your own is in your own home. Yeah. I'm going to kill him. Wow. What are you thinking? Well, anyways, like John said, you know, this is what envy will lead you to if you don't deal with it and let God fill your heart with gratefulness and thankfulness for all that he's blessed you and not stop envying. Just like his brothers were envying Joseph. This is where it heads.

Okay. So what happens? He's sold into slavery to a man by the name of Potiphar, right? And Potiphar was an officer of Pharaoh and a captain of his guard. And according to some historians, he was probably the chief of the executioners. So he was not just an ordinary captain. He was a chief of Pharaoh's executioners. Now, Nicole and I have been to Egypt.

We were there last year about this time actually. And it's just amazing to think when I was walking around, especially in some of the places we went into this this guy's home, you know, there's this ancient statesman's home. And I was just thinking for a moment because his walls were beautifully decorated with all kinds of scenes of daily life and hunting and cooking and spending time with family.

I'm like, wow, these people were just like us. And here was a man who was very powerful, powerful enough to take your life. And now Joseph went from being a nobody to being in this man's house.

He's walking inside. I could almost picture Joseph walking around in that home. I could see him.

It was pretty surreal. So anyways, Joseph found favor in his sight. And the man was so impressed by Joseph that he made him an overseer over everything other than his own wife. Right? Because that's his wife. Now what happens when good things are going on? Satan's always there.

And I just want to warn the listeners and the viewers, you know, if great things are happening in your life, just be prepared. Satan's waiting to come and attack. So he did, because Joseph was handsome in form and appearance, Genesis 39.6. And his master's wife started casting, the way the Bible says it, cast longing eyes on Joseph. I mean, this is a woman who gives me the heebie jeebies.

It's like, oh, goodness gracious. You're a predator searching for prey. You're married to a very, very powerful man, but you want this slave boy.

You have everything over all these people, but it's still not enough. No, you just want to do this because it'll make you happy. It's some kind of a conquest for her. Right. And so she begins to tell him, lie with me, lie with me, as you know. And then his statement is this. He says, look, my master does not know what is with me in the house. And he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you because you are his wife.

I mean, think about how he's talking to her. Now, for those of us who may not have gone to Egypt or studied Egyptian culture like I have in the past couple of years, Egyptians valued marriage. In fact, you see in Saqqara, you know, the place that I was referring to just a few moments ago, where this home of this Egyptian nobleman was, he not only had his statue, but he had a little statue of his wife right next to him.

Yeah. Which tells us, and it was not like multiple wives. Maybe he had them. Maybe he had a harem. You know, he had some concubines.

Okay. That may have happened. But in all this architecture, the sculptures that he had of himself, it was him and his wife. It's kind of small, but okay, at least he has that. And then there are places in the hieroglyphs and, you know, some images on the walls where you see him and his wife's hand is behind him, like she's supporting him. And that's abnormal for the time, like for other cultures.

Not really. I mean, this marriage was valued is what I'm trying to say. You know, we have an idea and it just comes from misinterpretations and misunderstandings and lack of historical knowledge. We tend to think that everybody out there was just like running around and having illegitimate sex with everybody. Just having multiple wives and doing whatever they want to do. No, no, no. That's not true.

Okay. Even when you see pharaohs, the pharaohs that had their wives with them, they're sitting right next to each other. And you can see, you know, one of them is in the Egyptian museum.

She has his hand on his back. Like, like this is my husband. Wow.

There are some that where they're holding hands. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. It blows your mind.

It's like, really? When was this statue made? Four thousand years ago. And wow. They're holding hands.

Like, like we would hold hands today. Yeah. Nothing new under the sun.

Nothing new under the sun. So he's trying to remind her, hey, listen, you are his wife. You can't do that. Don't you understand? I mean, this marriage thing, this institution is very sacred.

Yeah. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? Now, what is very interesting is Joseph, as we all mentioned, and we know this story so well, he could have gone ahead with it and said, you know what, when in Egypt, do as Egyptians do, but that's not true. As we just learn about how their relationships were. No, instead of going along with that or taking advantage of the situation or using it to climb the ladder, he said, no, I'm not going to do that. And so one day, as you know, Potiphar's wife found him by himself, found Joseph by himself and she attacked him, really attacked him. And he, you know, just threw off his robe and he ran out of there. And, and of course, when she did that, Joseph knew this was it.

It was going to be his head. And by the way, it's something I've loved this point. I've shared this before and I'm sharing it because maybe we need to be reminded of that. I need to be reminded of that, that when you are in the throes of sin, when you are being attacked by sin, it is not a time for you to sit there and reason with sin and think about it and pray over it. No, no, no.

It's time to run. Right. You said that at the very top of the episode, that integrity recognizes the power of sin and it distrusts self. Right. Like I know I got to get out of here because I know if I try to reason with this, I'm going to lose. Oh yeah. Yeah. And people do that all the time.

The reason with it is justify it. And by the time it's over, they're doing it. And it's like, whoa, wait, wait, wait. How did you go from there to here? Because you said, yeah, but my situation, how I feel, you got to understand and we all make mistakes. And before you know it, you are signing off on something that God absolutely does not want. Integrity recognizes the power of sin and distrusts the power of self. Means when we start thinking I can do this.

No, you can't. And the sooner you can recognize that, and the less self glory you have, the better it is for you. The better it is for you. And I hope someone somewhere listening or maybe people in this room or maybe just me who needed to remember not to trust self. The wickedness is not out there.

It's dwelling within me. And it's only by the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God that I can overcome that sin, that temptation and move forward. And that's what Joseph did.

You know, and I want to challenge everybody, just flee. Like Paul says, first Corinthians six verse 18, flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Now that we use that for smoking and cigarettes and all that, but it really is about sexual immorality.

That's right. We can apply it to other things, but really about sexual immorality. So Paul says, whom you have from God and you are not your own for you were bought at a price.

Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, if you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the impact of the kingdom of God. Amen. Dr. Shaul, we had a question come in just this morning actually from Gerald J. What theologian or preacher has most impacted your life in ministry? Oh, wow. Well, of course I would say my father and my father-in-law. You know, both of them are now in heaven.

I'm sure they've met, but they made a big impact on my life. Wow. Yeah. Beautiful. I love that. Awesome. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 10:06:47 / 2023-03-07 10:19:14 / 12

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