I was in a conference years ago when one of the speakers said something really revealing. He said; “At the beginning stage of our Church, we had a character issue to deal with. Our pianist impregnated our choir leader.” As I listened to the speaker, I wondered what could have made that to happen. I realized the need to put a good heart above a good hand.

Friend, we must learn to put integrity before skill. While men of skill are attractive, men of integrity are to be desired (Proverbs 20:6). Men of skill may go fast, only men of integrity will go far. In the long run, the blessing of having a skillful man would be destroyed by the effect of a character flaw. In your own personal life, learn to pursue integrity before skill.

Like we saw in David, integrity and skill are two critical components of effective leadership (Psalms 78:70-72). The two components are equally important. But notice that the integrity of David was what came first in the arrangement. He led first with the integrity of heart before skilfulness of hands. He had a good heart, not just a good hand. Hearts are more important than hands.

Integrity is the true test of maturity and character development. Our work must pass the integrity test. If your life is wrong your work is wrong. It does not matter how great your work is, if it cannot stand the fire and test of time, it is a waste (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). God does not commit to you at the level of your gift or skill but at the level of your character or integrity (Acts 13:22).

Whereas, skill can be acquired via training, integrity is developed with time. Like Joseph, you would be faced with opportunities to compromise, but your walk with the Lord would keep you steady and sane (Genesis 39:7-9). If you fail in the face of temptations, it only shows where you are at with God (Proverbs 24:10).

In placing leaders, we must go for integrity ahead of skill (Acts 6:3). We must avoid haste. That you need someone’s skill so badly does not mean you should waive off character matters. The edifices that skill built for years can be destroyed by a character flaw within a minute. We must choose based on character and train for skill, not vice versa (2 Timothy 2:2).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria