Like many of you I've watched the tragic story involving New York Govenor Eliot Spitzer unfold this week. In fact as I write this, a news story featuring his resignation is playing on the TV. Once again, those things which are done in secret are being shouted from the rooftops. I can't (and don't) condone his actions in any way but at the same time I am saddened for him. He believed a lie that somehow he could get away with his actions. Believing the lie cost him his job, reputation and did untold damage to his family and friendships.
Integrity is a word that is often tossed around in leadership circles. We expect our leaders to be people of integrity, to live up to standards that they say they will and that they will keep their word. Integrity really speaks of 'wholeness' and 'oneness' in our lives. We want to separate public lives from private lives but in the end it really can't be done. When Mr. Spitzer's private life became public there was a tremendous deficit between what he portrayed he was all about and what he was actually doing.
Integrity is much easier to talk about than it is to achieve. Integrity requires more than a commitment to truthfulness and a connection between my words and my actions. Integrity requires humility and the ever present readiness to admit that we are subject to failure. Walking in this way keeps us from the kind of failure that Eliot Spitzer is currently experiencing.
My hope for Mr. Spitzer is that this nightmare will result in something amazing happening in his life and that he (with his family intact) will come out of this valley stronger and with a great sense of God's grace and restoration in his life.
My hope for you is that you will recognize the lie that says 'you can get away with it' and understand that integrity comes only through honesty and humility.
Have a fantastic day!