Transcription: The Pursuit of God Demands Integrity and Humility
Overview: We cannot know truth if we are not open to all options.
The pursuit of God demands integrity. But integrity is impossible without humility
So when I was about 11 years old, I had this pastor at my church.
He was a great pastor. I got along with him for years and really looked up to him. But one of the few memories that really stands out with him was when I was really little, and he was teaching the youth that night. I was about 11 or 12 at this point, and I loved that the pastor was teaching us, and so I was paying attention really closely, and at one point he asked us a question. He said
“So, do you guys think that when we go to heaven we will see people that we know? Do you think that we’ll be able to interact with friends and family that have gone on to heaven before us?”
And I love this question, so I thought really deeply about it. You know a lot of 11-year-olds aren’t really thinking deeply about their theological perspective of heaven, but I kind of was. I loved those kinds of questions. So I sat there and I thought about it for a while, and I let a few other people go first and kind of give their answers, and then I raised my hand. He said
“Okay Kurtis, what do you think?”
And I told him,
“You know, I’m not sure if we get to see people or not, but I don’t think we will. Because when I get to heaven. I want everything that I do to be caught up in Jesus. I want to be so keyed into him and my relationship with him and I don’t want to be distracted by anything else.”
I knew that if people I had loved my whole life on Earth were around me that I would get distracted, you know? I thought it was a really great answer! It was clearly, you know, something that an 11-year-old who was on fire for Jesus would say. I really don’t follow that train of thought anymore but that’s not really the point.
The point of this memory is that I gave the answer I had thought about for a long time and really kind of given my heart to, and in response, my pastor read a verse of scripture that basically said that we would see people in heaven again. So he just moved right on from that scripture and said how great is it to know that when we die and go to heaven we will be reunited with those that we love.
Now again, I love that pastor, he was a great guy. We had a great relationship for many years.
But what got to me from that memory and what has made that memory stick in my mind forever is not what he believed.
It’s how he interacted with what I believed.
I was being very authentic and genuine and had given this response and I thought it had some good basis! I want Jesus to be my everything! And I don’t want to be distracted. But rather than engaging me in that, rather than working through that and kind of giving me his perspective, understanding my perspective, and starting a dialogue and discourse with me, It really hurt me as a kid that he just kind of dismissed what I thought.
He read one scripture and basically without saying it said, “No, you’re wrong, how great will it be when we get to see people we know in heaven.”
And from that whole lesson, I didn’t hear anything else that he said.
I was stuck on the way that he responded to something that we disagreed about.
Okay, so why am I telling you this story? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. But the main thing is that when we are pursuing truth–when we pursue God–if we are looking for the real, raw, authentic God and objective truth about God,
we have to come to this pursuit of God, with integrity.
And what I mean when I say with integrity is, we have to have our minds, our eyes, our ears, and our hearts open to all options! If we just land on one idea and stick with it and say, “No THIS is the truth. I’m planting my flag and I’m never moving from here,”
then we’re not having integrity in our lifelong pursuit of God.
And the biggest thing about integrity is that
we can’t have integrity, without one other thing…and that’s humility.
Okay, I have this thing about me.
I still do it. It started probably when I was around 20 years old, and I recognize that when I look back at Kurtis three years ago, I always think,
“Man, that guy was an idiot.”
So when I was 20 I thought,
“Man, 17-year-old Kurtis thought he knew what he was doing and he was an idiot!”
And then 23-year-old Kurtis thought,
“Man, 20-year-old Kurtis was a moron! And he thought he knew everything!”
And then 26-year-old Kurtis…you get the point.
I have done this my whole life where I look back just three years ago and I think, “Oh man, what an idiot I was compared to where I am today.”
And what that tells me is that if that has continued for like 12 years now, that tells me that in three years I will look at the Kurtis that exists today, and at what I think and believe, and it will probably seem idiotic to 35-year-old Kurtis. So what this teaches us is that in this moment right now, we have to have humility with the way that we approach God, with the way that we approach truth, with the way that we approach all of our beliefs, and the ways that they impact our lives. Because chances are, in three years, or 10 years, or 40 years those beliefs are going to be very different than they are now.
So, if we’re going to pursue truth, if we’re going to really have a relationship with the real, authentic God, and if we’re really going to find purpose in our lives from that, we have to do it with integrity. But we can’t have integrity in our pursuit unless we have the humility to say, “I’m not sure. I don’t know. Here’s what I think for now!”
You know 11-year-old Curtis who said, “I think that we won’t see people that we know in heaven.” That’s just what I thought THEN, but it didn’t take more than a year or so for me to change that belief. And I’m still constantly evaluating, and re-evaluating, and reconsidering my beliefs as I learn more about God as I experience Him more. As I allow that part of my life to push me out into the world. I’m constantly learning and growing.
But to learn and grow, we have to have humility.
There are two things that I want to leave you with on this.
1. Follow people who lead with humility
If you have a guru that you follow, a life coach or a pastor that you like to listen to or read; if you’ve got a mentor or someone that’s discipling you, someone that you look up to and you want to model your life after theirs, if they are not willing to say, “I don’t know,” or “I’m not sure but this is what I think right now;” if they are not willing to show a measure of humility,
I want to encourage you to start looking for a different mentor.
Good leaders don’t lead from certainty. Narcissists lead from certainty. Good leaders lead from a place of humility. They are on the road with you. They’re not standing at the destination, shouting at you to catch up. They’re walking the road with you, which means they’re learning and growing alongside you.
So find a mentor, or a guru, or a pastor that’s willing to say “I’m not sure, but I’m willing to walk that road with you.”
2. If you are going to demand humility, you must model it yourself.
If we are going to demand humility and integrity from the people that lead us in our pursuit of God; from our pastors, our politicians, our parents, from anyone! If we are going to demand something from other people, we have to be willing to go first.
If I expect humility from those that I follow, or from anyone, I have to be willing to model that humility, that integrity in my pursuit of God.
It is not fair for me to expect something of someone else if I am not willing to live it myself. I don’t care if they’re 40 years older than me and they’ve got all kinds of degrees and experience, I don’t care. It’s not fair for me to ask other people to have humility if I’m not willing to live a life that says,
“you know, I’m not sure, but this is where I am right now. And I’m willing to walk that road with you. I’m willing to listen to someone that I disagree with because integrity demands it. The humility of being where I am and knowing that I’m going to grow and be somewhere else in three years, it demands that I give all options an open ear and an open mind.”
So I want to leave you with that today. I want to encourage you that
if we’re going to pursue God, if we’re really going to discover Him in truth,
then we have to have a humble heart to guide us.
If you are needing or looking for someone to meet you where you are, I would encourage you to consider therapy or life coaching. I have employed both in my journey and both have proven to be incredibly effective and beneficial to me. I have become a much healthier as an individual and have uncovered a lot more peace in my pursuit of god and his purposes for me.
I offer life coaching services to those who are interested, and also know several other life coaches as well as licensed counselors if I am not a good fit for your needs. If you would like help finding someone to walk your journey with you, contact me today and I’d be more than happy to help!