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GNOMIC A Christian Youth Magazine
ll too soon, the year would be coming to an end.The year has unfolded with some scandalous headlines: Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Number 12, Teachers’ licensing exam and the law school entrance exam leakages... There seems to be a story everyday about embezzlement of funds and corruption in the public sector. The cry of our generation is the need for trustworthy, consistent and reliable leadership. WE CRY FOR INTEGRITY; where we can expect people to be ONE in words and actions. As a team, we believe we can be the change-- the change in our country, our continent and our world. Hence, this edition: INTEGRITY. We believe integrity is developed in the closet and proven in public, developed in the small things and applied in big things. Developing integrity is not only necessary when we become 'big people' in the position to receive bribe, but more so now, by letting our yes be yes and no be no, no matter how costly it will be. Integrity is developed now and daily, and that is why we share our passion and conviction with you this October! INTEGRITY- Be inspired to be the change. It will certainly get better.
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Integrity + Dr Kwaku Amponsah Obeng
1. What is Integrity? Integrity is the quality of being whole, perfect or complete. It encompasses honesty, fairness and an adherence to a code of moral ethics. The word shares the same root with the word integer which refers to a negative or postive WHOLE number. Fractions and decimals are not integers. Thus, a man of integrity does not live his life in "fractions". He maintains the same, whole identity everywhere he goes. Another word that shares the same etymology as integrity is "entire" which also paints a picture of wholeness and perfection.
2. Why is integrity so relevant in our lives as young Christians? Firstly we are the image of God in this world. As the Bible puts it, we are ambassadors of Christ here on earth. We give this world an idea of who God is. Jesus Christ is in heaven, but here on earth we are his visible representatives. God is Spirit, but He reveals his attributes physically through believers. A corrupt Christian is actually telling the world that God is also corrupt, which is not so. Secondly, corruption is a contradiction to our new nature in Christ. Jesus said so very clearly when He likened us to salt and light in Matt. 5:13-16. Light banishes darknesss and salt flavours food. Light that becomes darkness is useless; just as salt that has lost its flavour. A Christian will never have true peace within if he is corrupt because he will be living contrary to his true nature. Finally, our actions serve as signposts that either lead people to God or away from him.
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When we portray God rightly through our actions, it will cause others to get saved. Therefore Jesus admonished in Matt 5:16 that when we let our lights shine (through our actions), men will give glory to God! Your ability to shine inspite of the darkness or corruption around you will ultimately bring men to God! This world is seeking for for leaders with integrity, and frontliners without character flaws. The young Christian should accept the challenge to be the answer the world is searching for in this regard!
3. How do Christians compromise on integrity in their daily lives? Christians compromise on integrity mainly by failing to protect their personal values in the pursuit of success. One biblical story paints this vividly: The city of Ai, after their first victory over Israel Threw caution to the wind in the second battle. Every single man in the city joined the pursuit of Israel leaving their own city unprotected. Unfortunately for them, Israel had set an ambush, and the city got defeated. Likewise, many people today, in their pursuit of success, fame and wealth, throw caution to the wind after a few accomplishments. They leave their "Ai" -(I) (personal values) unprotected to achieve greater feats. Often, Christians pursue great dreams with reckless abandon, sacrificing precious values on the "altar" of success or wealth! Their eyes get so transfixed on reaching higher echelons of power and education that any and every path seems right... Sadly, such people also get "ambushed" and eventually, the world ends up having very successful but morally-bankrupt individuals - famous celebrities and glamorous leaders who are actually moral monsters! These will either ultimately lose all they already gained or they will retain their temporal(earthly) success but become eternally irrelevant! In the pursuit of success, some Christians tend to lose sight of what is most important and experience a crisis in prioritising. Therefore, they end up trading character for wealth, integrity for fame, honesty for prevarication, purity for debauchery and virtue for vice in the pursuit of success.
4. What life experiences have you had concerning integrity? I have had quite a number of experiences. I would share one experience where I compromised and another experience where I stuck to my values. Once, in my second year in University, I mistakenly overlooked a particular topic in preparing for a test. Much to my chagrin, the major question was from that topic...we wrote the test under laxed supervision. As people communicated here and there, exchanging answers, I could not but succumb and ask a good lady friend for help. Then, I could not bear the thought of losing all those marks, neither could I trust God enough to see me through without asking for help.
For weeks after that, I was very sad that I had gone against my own principles. I apologised to the lady for seeking her help, prayed about it and with time my conscience recovered from the guilt of that action. Afterwards, I resolved never to cross that line personally again. On the flipside, I had an opportunity to tell a lie in a clinical exam during my Final MBChB exam (which could apparently have fetched me very good marks). In clerking my patient I had failed to ask a particular question. In discussing the case and its management with my examiners, I was queried about it - replying in the positive would apparently have shown my brilliance. Though I was sorely tempted to do so, I decided to tell the truth and immediately I saw the disappointment on the faces of my examiners. They were not happy I had overlooked that detail. However to my utter surprise and amazement, after the results were collated I was adjudged one of five overall best students in that clincal exam!! There are several other experiences where I faced challenges in practising what I teach others. I have not always been bold enough to stick to my principles, but I can boldly say that it always pays to be a person of integrity. The benefits may not come now or in the near future, but the God who sees in secret will certainly reward you openly one day, even if it has to be in heaven!
5. Should a Christian condone bribery as a socially/culturally accepted norm? A Christian should not condone bribery as a socially accepted norm. I do not believe that bribery and other corrupt practices were initially part of any society or culture in the world.They were introduced with time and became commonplace as many people began to compromise instead of enforcing rules and encouraging proper behaviour. The young Christian can challenge the status quo and re-introduce what is right. With time, as more people jump unto the bandwagon, the concerted effort could make bribery and corruption a thing of the past. Using the similie of salt once more, we realise that a particular amount of food does not need a commensurate amount of salt to season or flavour it. Just a little salt can give the optimum flavour to a particular dish. Similarly, you can make a change in the society even if you are the only person who decides not to accept or give bribes. The effect would only be amplified if all Christians decide to do same!
6. What practical ways can we adopt to tackle the menace of corruption in our society? The most important way is to maintain personal fellowship with God through all our life's pursuits. Jesus subtly iterated this when he said we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
A biblical commentator on visiting the site where Jesus sat when he made this statement made startling observations that help us answer this question. He noticed that the valley was white with crytalline salt , which were formed from weathered parent rock underneath. However men never used the visible, upper salt crytals for seasoning of food. This was because due to their constant exposure to the elements of the weather like rain, heat, cold and the like they had lost their saltiness over time. Such were scraped or broken off for road constrution. However the deeper crystals close to the parent rock revealed upon scraping of the upper layer, still maintained their saltiness and were rather used for seasoning. Jesus was making a covert comparison in using this similie, As believers, we come from Christ (our parent rock). In order for us to maintain our saltiness or integrity in a perverse world we need to remain connected to Him - the rock. It only those who remain close to Him in fellowship that can maintian their saltiness (integrity, personal values). Believers who get tooo involved in the elements of this world, without maintaining a connection with their source will lose their saltiness over time and like the visible upper salt crystals will no longer be good for seasoning. It's not wrong to seek to be a political leader, business tycoon, a trade mogul or any of the sort but the caution is that as you become more and more involved in worldy pursuits you should not give up your personal fellowship with God. More work should not mean less time with God - it rather should necessitate extra time with Him in fellowship because that is what will keep you successful in your new endeavours. The same principle is painted in regards to us being light of the this world Matt. 5:14). Notice that, a light bulb as long as it is connected to its power source will shine brighter when the darkness around it increases! Two ways to increase the brightness of a light bulb are either to increases the power supply to the bulb or increase the darkeness around it. Both will make the bulb appear to shine brighter. In the daytime, streetlight lights do not appear bright, because of the presence of the sun. However at night, those same lights, with the same power flowing through them, shine brighter because of true darkness! Similarly, as a light of this world the darkness and evil we see around will only cause you to shine brighter if you stay connected to your source - God. The Holy Spirit is a power source that doesnt fluctuate, or need to be recharged. There is no dumsor with Him, Praise the Lord. The corruption in this world will not taint a believer if He learns to keep his fellowship with God. He will rather become a tool to expose, and dispel it. Other ways I will mention briefly include: â€˘ Define a personal set of values you hope to never compromise on. Without a carefully-guarded sense of morality, nothing defines 'how far is too far' in pursuing success. Thus, we may go to any length(whether good or bad) just to "make it" in life - achieving success by hook or crook! Daniel and his three Hebrew friends had personal values they refused to compromise on even in a foreign land. Joseph was also not willing to sin against God by sleeping with Potiphar's wife. Never allow a momentary pursuit to unravel the delicate, painstakingly-sewn seams of your moral fabric; such a mistake will surely expose the nakedness of your personal value-system to the world! â€˘ Cultivate good habits consciously. Daniel had a custom of praying on his own since the "early days" according to Daniel 6:10. Since this habit was already ingrained in him, the king's ban on prayer or worship to other gods could not stop him from praying.
From childhood, we should instil Christian values in our children, and they will not depart from the training when they grow. • Practise what you teach. Learn to do what you advise others to. According to Acts 1:1, Jesus both did and taught the lessons he shared. Paul also exemplified his own teachings (Phil. 4:9). Do not say one thing while you practice the direct opposite. Jesus warned against such hypocrisy, which was common amongst the Pharisees. • Say what you mean and mean what you say. Speak with caution. Be a man or woman of your words. Do not make promises you know you cannot fulfil. Every idle word we speak will have to be accounted for (Mark 4:22). • Discipline yourself to stick to your financial budget. Learn to live within your means. Overspending will only predispose you to using wrong means to get more money. • Expose rather than cover up and condone the corrupt deeds of others. (Eph. 5:11) All these can be summarised by saying: In all you do "Focus on pleasing God and not men". Most of our problems in life stem from our bid to please men.
7. How does it work-- an incorruptible Christian politician?
I believe it is very possible to be an incorruptible Christian politician. We are the light of this world and the salt of this earth. We are to be lights to the world, not the church.Thus we are meant to get into the systems and structures of this world and influence them with our light for Christ. In the same vein, salt cannot season food that it is separate from! To give flavour to food salt must come into contact with it; we cannot influence the world and its systems if we behave as hermits, secluding ourselves from it.We have the power to influence the world without getting influenced by it. A Christian politician would be successful if he: Maintains his or her personal relationship with God. I have already spoken about the benefits of this earlier. Maintaining personal fellowship with God will provide the requisite strength and fortitude to prevent compromise on his Christian ideals. Understands the real reason for his position: Politics, business and all fields of endeavour are not an end in themselves. They are avenues through which God expects us to influence the world, make life better and bring people to Christ. That's why Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. The Christian politician main aim is to make life better for his constituents or jurisdiction. The money, wealth, fame and the like are all transient.They are minors. He or she should not make the mistake of majoring of such minors, and rather minor on his major purpose! In the heat of your pursuits, be it political or otherwise, do not let the allure of success cause you to leave the purity of your persona unguarded! Adopt Paul's mantra: "...I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men" (Acts 24:16) There are more thoughts to share on this topic but I beleive these are the most important and that they would suffice for the purpose of this discussion. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on integrity.
The Lonely Road Joseph Kabena Kyi Nyamison
e were many when this journey started From all walks of life on this walk of life This journey, we found, wasn’t for the faint-hearted Through many challenges and endless strife We all were supposed to remain intact Unchanged, uncorrupted, undefiled, one In thinking only good, in speaking fact, Right indeed in deeds till this deed was done. Yet many fell along the line We understood when we put down our load At our journey’s end, where we read this sign; ‘Integrity is the loneliest road' A million miles away from the friend zone. To walk this road, one must go alone’
Integrity Psalm 26:11
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity, redeem me and be gracious to me.
ne outstanding definition of integrity is, “the inner sense of ‘wholeness’ drawing from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.” Integrity keeps you sound, consistent and undivided. C. S. Lewis had this to say,
“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” Integrity is not showmanship. It is a character that is solid and stands the test of time, resources and power. Integrity shows itself in language, thought, actions and character. The truth is that, men and women of integrity are lacking in our society. The fall of our lives, businesses, churches, nations and every human endeavor is pegged on integrity. The reason God has never failed is because He is a God of integrity.
“God is not a man that He should lie… (Numbers 23:19).”
Myles Munroe succinctly elucidates the subject. Integrity is the core for excellence in life. Mark Twain humbly makes this submission,
“if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Is there a private and public life? If there ever is, they should be in equilibrium! Integrity is what every individual, business and nation needs! “We are all leaders,” Myles Munroe continually repeats. It is required that we become people of integrity. The duty of man is service to God and humanity. In these dealings, integrity is required. To function in such a character, we have need of a strong heart.You might be excellent at deceiving your mind, but not your heart. Integrity is not situational, it runs a lifetime. To have a strong heart, TRUTH has to reside in our hearts. A very strong heart can rule the mind; the heart in which Christ resides. This is the heart of Integrity which produces a strong mind resulting in a lifestyle of integrity. When integrity shows up, human development gets to its peak. The quality of the human person is the quality and success of every other thing. Walk your talk Say what you mean Mean what you say Be good to your words Let your words and deeds connect You are a person of integrity, become a person of integrity!
Dr Emmanuel Kwadwo Aw
...many people learn the prospects of being fruitful- having results- without maintaining integrity. They eventually become trees rotting inside that are in the end toppled by the storm.
hy is it that so few men finish well? My cutting rejoinder is that many people learn the prospects of being fruitful- having results- without maintaining integrity. They eventually become trees rotting inside that are in the end toppled by the storm.
Will you stand for the truth if you knew your remarks concerning a matter was going to put a friend or sibling into trouble with the authorities? The words of your mouth as answers to these can be so convincing but the words of your works speak with a powerful and sometimes painful eloquence about what you actually believe and stand for.
upheld to its zenith. The demands the programme made on us led others to compromise on their integrity. The rotations throbbed with falsification of signatures for requirements. People drowned in the deluge of getting things done to meet standards but they forgot that the real scene was a questioning of their integrity. The ruthlessness of their actions and compromise is not limited to medical training. All disciplines can corrupt God-honoring aspirations of students through systems that reward ambition over hard work.
In this day and age, the subject under discussion has become very scarce at both national and international fronts. In action, we barely can talk about men who can be credited with this and that without significant controversy. The world has this unhealthy tendency to see and reward gift more than character. The result is the moral injustice we see spilling even into our esteemed sanctuaries. It is meet then that your posture in reading this piece would not be to expect spelling out of only what is only erroneous but get malleable for reformation.
The world does not need more cool, culturally savvy and irrelevant copies of itself. This is a hoax that has duped thousands of young Christians and still duping. There are so many pictures of integrity littered in the Scriptures. I would like to draw a piece from one Hebrew boy’s life which we can all relate to perfectly.
During my years in medical school, I remember clearly the highly esteemed cogitations of how ‘perfect’ doctors were hence, my ambition was just to be seen as one. The revelation of such robust motivation seemed leagues away when the voice of academics became louder. The cut throat basic science track of the programme with its emphasis on making good scores had already fractured my idealism.
So, this young dreamer only 17 had actual dreams foretelling his enviable reign over his kindred. The Hebrew boy at Dothan had his fate decided by his brothers. One of his brothers who still had compassion flowing in his veins suggested a dream deterioration but a life rescue mission to sell him to the caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. The young man found himself in Potiphar’s house. He prospered in the house of his master so much that an unbeliever like Potiphar
Help me answer these few questions. Will you vehemently castigate a youth leader if you caught them watching pornography, but confidently cross your leg and enjoy a movie or a website or a magazine littered with photos or films of nudity?
As I progressed, my discouragement worsened when in my naiveté I expected an environment where integrity would be
incanted that the Lord was with him. Joseph was a real handsome man. He was celebrated all over the East. Persian poets and the chronicles of the Koran speak of his beauty as perfect. Tradition says that Zuleekha, Potiphar’s wife lost all self-control and became a slave to her passion because of Joseph. She tried severally to take him to bed to gain his trust too. When people get to taste of successes and worthy accomplishments, shortly after, integrity comes knocking only to find out if they deserved more. Guess what? Many people fail abysmally. The integrity of the Hebrew boy was in question, whether he will fast track his way to power and riches by taking his master's wife to bed. His answer to Potiphar’s wife was amazing! He said both in word and in action: 'How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' Wow! The amazing truth is that he was in a foreign land, and he was in an empty house that no one would have seen him but the Hebrew boy said he couldn’t sin against God. Such display of integrity! His next reaction was impulsive fleeing from compromise. This should be our attitude and posture. The same was said about Daniel, a young royal who found himself in Babylon. The presidents and princes in
The same Spirit of excellence in Daniel that spurred him up to leave a legacy of Integrity is the same spirit of transformation in us today.
A self-induced osteoporosis of compromise will weaken our moral backbone.
Darius’ reign sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the Kingdom, but they could find any nor fault for as much as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. In the 15th century specifically around 1450, the French took the root meaning of integrity from wholeness- “integritatem” in Latin to “integrite” which meant “in perfect condition”. Daniel had defined this word with his life before the French discovery. However vital our choices seem and however fervently our ambitions are lit, the core of our hearts should burn with the fire of integrity. We can sympathize with the layered complexities, ambiguities and difficulties of life but the spiel of compromise is not sagacity. We are just weaving into the fabric of our being seeds of corruption that will finally take root and destroy us if we continue to compromise. We mostly think it is only this once, let me just compromise but soon we come to realize that one compromise, then another and then another until the incremental cumulative effects of selfishness and greed corrupts our integrity. A self-induced osteoporosis of compromise will weaken our moral backbone.We will eventually lose the power of moral conviction by atrophy. At the core of the matter, most decisions to compromise hinges on pride. We always want the self-aggrandizing feeling of being in the lead and getting respect from peers and superiors. This pride generates slow fires which melt away our moral muscle and clams our vision of right doing by the cataracts of compromise. The anaesthetizing effects of compromise can dissipate quickly if we submit to the power of Christ which changes the focus of our motivation.The same Spirit of excellence in Daniel that spurred him up to leave a legacy of Integrity is the same spirit of transformation in us today. The law of picture states that people do what they SEE, people follow if they TRUST and people return what they have RECEIVED. Your integrity is the spice to IMITATION, TRUST and LOYALTY. So no matter how you have compromised in your academics, purity, line of work, thoughts and actions, a decision to allow the fires of revival from Christ to warm you enough to stay perfect and whole like an integer is possible by your decision.
He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
Proverbs 10:9, NASB
INTEGRITY FOR SALE Maame Akuamoah Yeboah
And Esau said, â€œLook, I am about to d ie; so what is this birthright to me?â€? Genesis 25:29-34. (v. 32)
acob and Esau were brothers, born of the same womb, and on the same day, but different in appearance and character. Esau, the older, and Jacob the younger. For the passing, fleeting pleasure of food, Esau sold his right to be first. Unknown to him, he had given his brother all the right in the world to take the firstborn's blessing. He didn't think twice about it, he didn't think it was such a big deal. We are in the same soup. This time, it's not the right to be first that we sell, but our right to be right. Right not in the sight of men, but in His sight-- Our integrity. "Well this is not for me," you say, "I am a person of solid integrity." Think again. Not thinking twice about whether to write the same essay your friend is writing for submission, signing 'observed' for a procedure you haven't even seen before. Have you lied about asking a patient a question you know didn't even cross your mind? You probably never thought into it, but like Esau, you are selling your right to be right with G od for a p assing, fleeting p leasure. For something that would not hold water in a very, very short while.You're letting go of what's eternal for what is fading away. Think again. "Oh, but this nothing! Everyone does it." Well, good luck doing what everyone is doing. Last time I checked , we were not called to do what everyone was doing, we were called to bring Him pleasure. In fact, going against the grain is our thing. Integrity, staying true to the course, standing up for Him when all others are ducking for cover, is the point of this long write-up. I don't have a perfect score on this test, but work hard at it I will. Like He did, long before I knew Him. Stand up ! Eternity is a long time. So let's consider what is eternal; it makes it all worthwhile.
Meet Dr Kennedy Edem KUKUIA Christian Missionary Neuropharmacologist Pharmacist Senior Lecturer
UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL Dr Kennedy Edem KUKUIA
Who is Dr Kennedy Edem Kukuia? I am a Christian missionary, a husband of one wife (Faphy) and a father of two sons (Edem and Eyram). I am a Neuropharmacologist, a Pharmacist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Pharmacy. A little bit over three decades ago, I was born to a military officer dad and a trader mum. We lived in Burma camp for a while until my dad retired, and then we had to move to Nungua. I spent most of my life in Nungua until I got married. I am the last of four children on my mum's side, and I had my basic education at the Weija Barracks Basic School. I completed as the best student and proceeded to Adisadel College. I was in the brilla team as well. At Adisadel College too, I completed as the best science student in my year and applied for medicine in KNUST. For some reason I did not get to become the medical doctor I wanted to be. Strangely, my name was not on the list although I passed. So I decided I wasn't going to go to school for a year, and then apply again. My mum decided against it. By then, my father had died. He died when I was just 14. I got pharmacy, my second choice. After one year, I decided to continue with the course. What kept me there was the fact that I was in the first class range and not really because I liked pharmacy. It took me three years to begin to see what God was trying to do with my life with the Pharmacy education. Before then, I was furious because I thought
I was qualified for medical school. In third year, things began changing, and I realized that all along this was what God was trying to do. If I had probably done medicine, I would not have ended up where I had to be. I finished with my Pharmacy education in 2008, and went to Central University as their first teaching assistant to help them. I came back to KNUST in 2009 to start my Masters which by divine providence ended up as a PhD and I graduated at 27. I joined the University of Ghana at the age of 28. By 30, I was a Senior Lecturer. As far as ministry is concerned, I did not think I was going to be a preacher. I had an encounter with God in my first year of University and that became the turning point of my life. Before I entered KNUST, I met a man of God who gave me a prophecy and up until now, each of the things that he spoke about has happened. He told me about serving God and becoming a preacher. Moreover, that even after my PhD, God will use me. So when I had the encounter with God in first year, I just knew that it was time for me to shift my focus to serve God. Whiles on campus, I met my wife. She started as my ‘spiritual daughter’ and then became a friend, and later my wife. December 13th will be our fourth anniversary. It has been a wonderful life. I have been blessed to have had such a wife. She is also in ministry and so we work together. She is the mother of my two sons— Edem and Eyram.
So when was Burning Heart Missions birthed? The name Burning Heart came in 2009. Then, the ministry had not begun. I was only preaching. However, I knew that there was something I needed to do that was called Burning Heart. Once I was just walking, and then God said He wants me to gather His people and raise for Him world-transforming leaders. He began explaining that He wanted me to gather the people and then train them for the work. So after fasting we outdoored the ministry with prayer. This was on Sunday November 6, 2011. This year will be our 7th year.
There cannot be integrity without Christ Jesus. Everyone was born broken by sin. The one person that was broken in the place of our sin is the one that imparts that incorruptibility.
What picture comes to mind when you think about integrity? I would say wholeness, completeness, soundness, incorruptibility and purity. I think that you are looking at something being perfect, something being whole, something that has that quality of not being corrupted. It is what encompasses the person's entire being. There cannot be integrity without Christ Jesus. Everyone was born broken by sin. The one person that was broken in the place of our sin is the one that imparts that incorruptibility. Until that being comes to live in us, we cannot have integrity. You can have people with high moral standards but these people may end up corrupting themselves because what it takes for them to have that soundness, is absent.
You mentioned that integrity does not exist outside of Christ Jesus. What then does it mean to you when you find Christians compromising on their integrity? When Jesus Christ comes into a man's life, the person from the beginning is born as a child. That child has all the characteristics of a human being, but is unable to do a number of things like those an adult can do. The child needs to grow into the fullness of a mature man or woman. And so when people become believers, there are seeds that have been sown in them—seeds of integrity. However, those seeds need to be nurtured… they need to blossom and bear fruit. When that believer is not instructed in the ways of God and is not maturing, then that believer can easily compromise on what they have as a nature.
Dr. and Mrs Kukuia
Nevertheless, as long as that believer is connected to God, and the grace of God is flowing into him/ her, that believer can have the chance to grow integrity. It is just a matter of maturity.
With regards integrity, does the end justify the means? No.There is nothing like that.There are two scriptures that answer this question perfectly—the whole of Psalm 73 and Habbakuk 2. I will read from Habakkuk 2:12:
Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! The scripture is very simple!
What has been the toughest test of integrity in your life and how did you overcome it? When I was reading my Masters, I bought my first car. It was not very expensive then. Someone who needed help sold his car to me. I did not have a driver's license and I was not driving, so it was strange to get the car. The car had some issues, so it had to be taken to a mechanic for about a month. When the car had been fixed, we went to get it. I did not know my insurance had expired. Someone, a church member, drove me. On the way from the mechanic’s shop, we were stopped at a police barrier because of the expired insurance. He was not taking any excuse. We knew he wanted money. Here I was, the CCF president, a child of God, with a church member driving me. Would I have to bribe the police officer or stand my ground and face the consequence? I was confused. I said a quick prayer, and immediately I remembered a friend whose father worked with the MTTU. I got his contact and called him. I explained the whole situation to him, letting him know that we had just gotten the car from the mechanic and that we had no idea the insurance was expired. He spoke to the police officer, and after evident frustration, let us go. Even then, he wanted us to show ‘appreciation’. I told him the little money we had left on us was meant to pay for the fuel that
would eventually take us to our destination. As we went ahead, the gentleman driving commented on how he was watching me carefully to see what move I would make in that difficult situation. In that moment, I just whispered ‘thank you’ God.
Why is integrity so relevant to us as young Christians? We can look at some scenarios in Scripture. The first test of integrity was in the garden, when Adam knew exactly what God had said, rejected it, and followed another voice. Every evil we see around us was because one man failed in the test that was thrown at him as far as integrity was concerned. The life of Esau is another picture of where integrity failed. He sold out his birthright and decided to go for a bowl of food because he was hungry. By doing that, he did not only lose the right to the actual inheritance, but also lost the right to be the one to give birth to the Messiah. When we fail in our test of integrity, it does not only affect us, but generations after us. Any time young Christians fail in their call to uphold integrity, they are distorting God's plans for their lives and the people who will come out of their loins. Daniel and his friends stood for integrity and we saw the promotion that came to them. Standing for integrity can be difficult sometimes because it looks like you are standing alone. Sometimes you are thrown into jail not because you have done anything wrong but because you are standing for the right thing. Nevertheless, in all of that, even if it does not happen on earth, you will not lose out in eternity. As far as we are concerned, there is more to the afterlife
Any time young Christians fail in their call to uphold integrity, they are distorting God's plans for their lives and the people who will come out of their loins.
than the life here.
The only way you can walk in integrity on this earth is when the scriptures are part of you.
What are some of the more common ways we compromise on integrity in our daily dealings? Some of the ways we compromise on our integrity include lying, stealing and evil communication. Psalm One says, ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful… ‘
Paul probably had some, Peter no classmate. But what made a difference in their lives was the fact that they encountered Christ and lived by His word. That is what will make the difference.
This talks about keeping evil company evil communication; keeping friends who talk ill about men of God. Believers who keep such company can easily become corrupted by their ways.
As a student, I knew I wasn't prepared for marriage. I knew what my weaknesses were. That was not the time for me to go and tell someone's daughter “When I see you, my heart skips a beat. When I see you, my eyes turn 360 degrees in their sockets” I feel that we need to have certain boundaries. When you are in your parents’ house, is the same way you must live when you are on campus. I believe that it is so crucial. I guess the true way to test integrity is not when people are watching but when you are alone and in the dark.
Others include disloyalty and sexual impropriety, lying, stealing or pilfering, etc.
What practical ways can we adapt to promote integrity? The first thing is for the person to surrender to Christ Jesus. Then when the seed is sown in us, it works in us, and then reflect in how we live.
We also need to respect time if we are people of integrity. Time is our life and life is measured in time. If a person has no respect for time, he has no respect for life and God as God is the giver of life.
Secondly, the person must be given to the Scriptures. The first textbook of any human being must be the scriptures. The Bible says,
In summary, giving ourselves to Christ, reading Scriptures, setting boundaries and respecting time are some of the ways we can become people of integrity. All of these come together when we have love. Love is not just a feeling; it the will to lay you’re your life for another or for a cause, irrespective of whatever comes to you.
“How can a young man cleanse his ways? By taking heed to the Word of God.” The only way you can walk in integrity on this earth is when the scriptures are part of you. A man can study medicine, pharmacy, nursing or engineering and fail, but no man can study the scriptures, live by them, and be a failure in life. Abraham had no classmates. Isaac, no classmate.
Then there’s a verse in Psalm 15. It talks about who that man is that can ascend to the Hill of the Lord and stand in his holy hill. The subsequent verse mentions that it is he who can swear to his own hurt and does not change his mind. Our “yes” should be our “yes” and our “no” should be “no”, irrespective of the consequences.
Any final words? There is more to life than what we see it to be. This life is very short, but the choices we make determine what would come to us in eternity. Integrity pays.
...the choices we make determine what would come to us in eternity. Integrity pays.
There are eyes watching us both in eternity and on this earth. Even if some unbelievers do not sing your praises, they are still watching you. The day you fall they will walk to you and ask if you are truly the believer you claim to be. God has His eyes on us, and he rewards every little thing that we do, whether good or bad.
Integrity means that if our private life were suddenly exposed, we would have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Integrity means that out outward life is consistent with our inner convictions.
oung Graham rose to public fame in 1949 at a time when televangelists were known for their luxurious lifestyle, some with questioned morality. In 1950, after a successful crusade at Atlanta, two photos made the news. In one, Rev Graham was waving the crowd goodbye while in the other, the ushers held the money bags full of love offerings from the crusade. He was deeply stung by that and determined he would never let anyone doubt his motives and this he did for over six decades of ministry. When asked in his sunset years what he would want to be remembered for, he said “I want to be remembered for having integrity”. Late in 1948, Billy Graham and some of his team mates met in Modesto, Carlifornia to set some ground rules for the ministry. In his autobiography, Just As I am, The Autobiography of Billy Graham, (Harper Collins, 1997) pages 127-129, he recounted the story of the popular MODESTO MANIFESTO. From time to time Cliff [Barrows], Bev [George Beverly Shea], Grady [Wilson], and I talked among ourselves about the recurring problems many evangelists seemed to have, and about the poor image so-called mass evangelism had in the eyes of many people. Sinclair Lewis’s fictional character Elmer Gantry unquestionably had given traveling evangelists a bad name. To our sorrow, we knew that some evangelists were not much better than Lewis’s scornful caricature. One afternoon during the Modesto meetings, I called the Team together to discuss the problem. Then I asked them to go to their rooms for an hour and list all the problems they could think of that evangelists and evangelism encountered. When they returned, the lists were remarkably similar, and in a short amount of time, we made a series of resolutions or commitment among ourselves that would guide us in our
future evangelistic work. The summary of the FOUR RESOLUTIONS MAKING UP THE MANIFESTO WERE • • • •
To never exaggerate against attendance figures at their evangelistic crusades To take only a fixed salary from their organization To never be alone with any other woman other than their wife, mothers or daughters. To never criticize fellow members of the clergy.
After six decades of ministry, having been an advisor to 12 US presidents, preached in 185 countries to over 200 million souls, at his death in Feb 2018, one thing that could characterize his life is INTEGRITY. Rev Graham had this to say on integrity himselfIntegrity means that if our private life were suddenly exposed, we would have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Integrity means that our outward life is consistent with our inner convictions. Integrity is the glue which holds our way of life together. Rev Billy said this in a response to an award given him by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities for living a life of personal integrity and ministry Even if others were not watching us and evaluating our ministries by what they see of our honesty and integrity, we still should be above reproach, because we are accountable to God.“We need to lead the way be setting the highest of standards.With God’s help, you can be a man or a woman of integrity–in your family, in your business or ministry, in your recreation, in your relationships with other people. “You can’t do it on your own. Some of you have tried and failed. But when
you turn to Christ at the beginning of each day and commit that day to Him, He will help you and strengthen you. He will help you get your priorities right.” In a generation where it seems it is the end that justifies the means, INTEGRITY teaches that it is not necessarily about end, but most importantly, the means as well. Another beautiful example of integrity in the scriptures is Samuel. At the end of his service to Israel, he could put his integrity on the line and ask 1 Samuel 12:3-4 Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you." And they said,"You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man's hand." Integrity is not only an admired quality in faith alone but in leadership and business as well. Zig Ziglar said “it is true that integrity alone will not make you a great leader, but without it, you would also not be one”. Leadership involves trust, and without it, followers will not be willing to follow you, and that is where integrity comes in. We should be able to demonstrate consistency in our lives. According to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, both employees and C-suite leaders place a high premium on integrity among executives. In a survey of over 1,000 office employees and more than 2,200 chief financial officers , both employees and CFOs rated integrity as the most essential leadership trait, and greater percentage of employees considered it the top quality in an executive. Such results were no surprise to Tim Hird, ex-
ecutive director of the firm that ran the survey. “People want to work for those who are ethical,” he explained. “They know that if their leader acts with integrity, that leader will treat them right and do what’s best for the business.”
The Yield of Integrity Integrity rewards, sometimes not immediately. Eventually, truth stands, and integrity builds a strong and lasting legacy. The integrity of the upright upholds him ( Prov. 11:3) There will continue to be the enticing of Mrs Potiphars , the temptation to add a zero to a figure or to sign a document falsefully but it will be your integrity that will prevent you from doing all these. Deciding to live a life of integrity eventually yields you a good testimony before men and and ultimately God. But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Paul. An eternal legacy that cannot be defamed, even your opponents would have to lie to taint it.
Developing Integrity Integrity must be developed in the closet DAILY. It renewal of convictions to become a person of person of integrity. First, RESOLVE. Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.
Integrity stems from a resolution to live a life without seams or patc, where we are the same on the inside and out. It is a decision to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. INTEGRITY THRIVES ON ACCOUNTABILITY We need to be accountable to God first. He sees in the secret and rewards publicly. So even when no one is watching, He is watching.When Joseph was faced with Mrs Potiphar’s temptation, his decision to flee was because he knew he was first accountable to God before any one else.. 2 Corithians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ACCOUNTABLE TO AN INTIMATE FEW When Daniel resolved in his heart, he was not alone! He was with his other 3 friends. Later, his 3 friends would be facing the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, and this was their reply… Daniel 3:16-18 O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from
your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." Remember, this decision was not made at the instant of when they heard the decree of Nebuchadnezzar or when they faced the fire. It was made several years ago when as young men they were brought as captives. And if they said no to food, how can they say yes to idolatry. There is a strength and power available to us when we are with others standing for the right thing.We ought to have people in our lives who hold us accountable for our actions and our decisions.
WHAT AM I • What I am: whole. Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You are not swayed by men because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. (Mark 12:14 • What I stand On: committed to my promises Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37 • What I Do: actions consistent with my promises Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21
We are accountable to a future that depends on us. Sometimes, the now is highly magnified to us that we are tempted to decide against a bigger future. When Joseph was running away from Mrs Potiphar, little did he know the future of Egypt and the rest of the world was in his hands. There is too much at stake, a world to save, a people to redeem to sell our integrity for the now. It may be painful now, but it will certainly yield. Integrity begins with the little things. Ultimately, we need God’s help liike Rev Graham said History makers, a member of the International Leadership Institute, developed these questions to aid in building a life of integrity
In conclusion Integrity is living Christianity because it is right and the best thing to do no matter what the circumstances. The choices of the Christian life are determined by the values we have learned from God, not the circumstances that happen to We accept the certainty of circumstances but also exercise the responsibility of human choice. A Christian wants to know about him/herself not ‘what happened to you’ but rather, ‘how did I respond”.- History Makers.
Write for us.
OCT/NOVEDITION EDI18 TION18
A Life Without Seams.
veryone hates Mondays. And for Amoaba, this particular one wasn't making a good case for itself. Last night, she had slept for exactly three hours. Her roommate hosted some male visitors last night, and the loudness of their conversation ensured that no one in the flat was left out of their wild stories and kokonsa. At 12:59 AM, she finally heard the voices fading. Not long after, her roommate trooped in, turned on the light, banged about a bit, turned the lights off, then proceeded to sleep into her free day. Also, she snored. Amoaba, on the other hand, was up at 4, at the Pentagon bus stop by 5, still on the road to Korle-bu by 6, and dozing at her desk by 7:30 as the class waited for the lecturer to begin the first class. This did not look like a good Monday. The door opened and she sat up. At the doorway stood Robert, with a wide grin on his face. "Ah!" "Mtcheew!" Many others laughed and expressed their annoyance in similar dialects at his prank. Amoaba chose to join the laughs. She had definitely noticed Robert. As had every girl on earth, because truly, what couldn't the guy do? Basketball, guitar, art, you name it, he was good at it. The only things he wasn't good at were those he hadn't tried. When he did, he became good. However, the thing that tickled her heart was what she saw in Robert in church.Whether it was playing instruments, setting up for the service, or packing afterwards, he was always so committed. She had not yet mustered the courage to really get to know him, but from a distance, she yearned for a man that was committed to something, to someone, like Robert was. It was at that moment that the lecturer walked in. "Good morning." He said as he set his bag on the table, and brought out a large brown envelop. He took out some papers, and begun to distribute them saying, "Take one and pass. Don't turn them over until I say so." Amoaba wanted to scream at this Monday. "Okay.You can start.You have 25 minutes."
She looked at the questions, then sighed. She heard similar reactions throughout the class. Out of the 4 questions, she could vaguely answer one. It was worth 2 marks. The entire paper was worth 40. She lifted her pen, and begun to drudge through the quiz like a pair of legs in Wellingtons through thick mud. At one point, she stopped hopelessly and glimpsed around the class for motivation. Dzidzo's pen was at the table as she stared blankly at the sheet. Even Matilda, their resident 'know-it-all' seemed to be having challenges. She glanced at Robert. What she saw would forever shock her forever. His eyes moved up and down very fast. At first glance, it was as though he was looking up to the hills for help but it seemed he chose look at the lowest valley- his laps as he stole glances at at his notes! Robert? Why Robert? Surely he didn't need to. Was she seeing things? Once more, she sighed. This wasn't the first time she'd seen this disconnect.And it wasn't just Robert. In the churches she had been to, she had met quite a number of amazing people whose seeming love for God demonstrated through service at church left her astounded. But when she met them some of them at their workplace or school, she wondered whether they were the same people. One could find them leading powerful prayer meetings one day, then see them report late to every class during the week. She could see some so passionately serving in their churches and ministry, yet not devoting enough time to and performing poorly in school. Where was the balance? Amoaba's philosophy had always been to try her best to be pleasing to God and submit to His ordinances in man. She carried this attitude in church, in school, at home, and in every aspect of her life. She wouldn't count herself completely successful, but she kept trying.
But she sometimes wondered whether everyone saw the gospel as she did. She had heard and experienced some of the terrible things in Ghana's healthcare system, some of which had been defining factors that shaped her ambition to become a medical doctor. At hospitals, she had seen doctors, including Christian ones, show favouritism to friends, letting them cross queues when there were others in line in greater need of urgent care. She vividly remembered one time when she fell sick and was taken to hospital, and amidst her pain, the doctor kept pausing to chat with the nurses as he asked her the questions that would help his diagnosis. She realized that like Christianity, medicine was a special calling to set one's life apart, to invest long hours into gathering the necessary skills needed to be able to help save people's lives and make them better. For how attractive would her gospel be if she was a lousy doctor? She yearned for the days that in Ghana, people's love for God would extend beyond the walls of the church. She yearned for the days she would see people like Robert show the same level of commitment in church in everything else they did. When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” John 19:23-24 Integrity demands that our lives are not compartmentalised. To be one. To be without seams. Our thoughts, words and actions should be the same. Like Jesus, if your life is without seams, no one, no situation can tear you up! Not the charming smiles of Mrs Potiphar, the fiery flames of Nebuchadnezar or the roaring lions in the den can cause you to compromise. She looked back at her paper. She apologized to her Father. She would definitely fail this one. But she resolved that she would use the lessons of that failure as a springboard to excellence. "STOP WORK!" the lecturer said.
Edem Kwami Apewokin OCT/NOVEDITION18
Integrity: Cultivating the presence of Christ.
very morning when I wake up, I strive to get the atmosphere charged up, to get into character and make things ‘holy enough’ just so I can benefit from my morning devotion. It doesn’t always work and I often end up beating myself for starting the day out wrong just. But after numerous trials, I had to ask Him why it was so difficult to get into His presence. Did I rush into it? Was I ‘bad’ the previous day? Or was my heart just plain inhabitable by God? Or He wasn’t a morning person? He told me one simple thing: “the best way to get into My presence is to never leave it. You don’t create My presence, I am everywhere. You only have to acknowledge that.” If only I would realise that God is everywhere with me, I wouldn’t struggle to enter His presence. It takes a while, but it’s not about how holy the songs are or how deep the tongues spoken are but how much we realise that He is with us always. The angel Gabriel said something interesting in Luke 1: 19. He stood before Zechariah yet he said “I stand in the presence of God.” God is not just some figment of our imagination, nor is He a God so far-fetched to believe in. He seeks to be more intimate and that’s where I missed it. This was a God who I had acknowledged to be my father, my saviour, my king, but not my friend. Your perception of anyone strongly influences your relationship with that person. You have to take the next step and learn to practice the presence of Christ always and everywhere. Then it clicked – what if there’s a relationship between integrity and practicing the presence of God? Think about it, Jesus lived as He did because He was continuously aware that He and the father were one. I say this because integrity is best made known in little things, and knowing that Christ is in you and with you always changes the way you handle minor situations. One common error is asking ourselves “what would Jesus do?” I opt for a different question “Lord, what would You do?” They may not look so different from each other, but I think switching Jesus from third person to a second person and realizing that you’re seeking help from within rather than without sets the pace for better outcome. You won’t end up just reading off a patient’s folder rather than clerking if you
One common error I think we make is asking ourselves “what would Jesus do?” I opt for a different question “Lord, what would You do?” ...switching Jesus from third person to a second person and realizing that you’re seeking help from within rather than without sets the pace for better outcomes.
vigilantly and cautiously recognized that God lives in you. And if He’s a close friend
you might end up doing a couple things just to please Him the way we make sacrifices for our other ‘human’ friends, Brother Lawrence, a carmelite monk, wrote an entire book on ‘the practice of the presence of God’ and in it he tells of how he learnt to love and serve God even in the most diminutive and demeaning of tasks solely by developing a constant awareness of the presence of Christ. Paul prays in Ephesians 4:17 that the Messiah may dwell in our hearts, and even as I write this I’m almost completely unsure of how to develop that constant knowing that Christ is around me and in me always, but I’m more than willing to find out how. C.S. Lewis says that integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking. Sometimes issues arise when you don’t even know what the ‘right thing’ is. That’s where God comes in - after creating all things and deeming them ‘good’ I trust He has the best judgement of what is ‘right’ and what is not. And what better way to do right when no one is looking than to discern that God always is. Integrity has neither a verb nor an adjective form. It's one of the few nouns in English that have that ability, or disability depending on how you see it. It really must connote a special meaning for it to stand alone, and yet stand with so much power.
Ufuoma Geraldine Mamoh
+ Time with Mr Kwasi Prempeh-Eck
Director of Legal Education, Ghana Law School
Who is Mr Kwasi Prempeh-Eck? My name is Kwasi Prempeh-Eck. I have been a Lecturer at the Ghana School of Law from January 1999 to August 2012. Before then I was at HFC Bank Limited (now Republic Bank), for five years. I came to the Ghana School of Law and have been here since then. In 2012, the opportunity came to apply for the position of Director of Legal Education and successfully passed the interview. I was appointed on September 3, 2012 and have occupied this position since. I am a product of Mfantsipim School, the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon and Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I have a wife and two kids. I attend the International Central Gospel Church, Holy Ghost Temple branch located at Adenta-Frafraha. I have been a member of the International Central Gospel Church since October 1986. I am a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the Church.
Why did you choose to do Law? I have always enjoyed reading, so that's one of the reasons why I selected Law.
Are there any other aspects of ministry you are engaged in? Sometimes I am invited to preach. Although initially I was hesitant the Holy Spirit encouraged me to step out by faith.
We learnt you founded the Law School Christian fellowship when you were in school. Yes, in November 1986. We were in first year of the Professional Law Course.
Could you please help us with the story behind it? What inspired you? At Legon, we had the University Christian Fellowship, and other student fellowships But on arrival here, there was nothing of that sort. One day, I was reading Proverbs 27:23, where it talks about knowing the condition of your sheep. That was when the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He asked, ‘how are the people of God at the Law School doing?’ I went to talk to the former Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Wood (then, Georgina Lutterodt). She was the only one I knew as a Christian High CourtJudge. I was hoping she would say, ‘look young man, concentrate on your studies.You are not the only Christian who has been to the Ghana School of Law…’ Rather she said, ‘oh it’s a good idea! Think about it’. I wasn't very happy with her response. I waited for about two weeks and went to see her again, thinking that she'd change her mind, but she still encouraged me. I also spoke with my friend and study partner, Bishop E. A. T. Sackey of the Lighthouse Chapel International. He was happy about the idea as well. When we were at the University of Ghana, Legon he was the then Vice President of the University Christian Fellowship so it seemed a good idea for him to lead this group. But he thought I should lead because I had the vision. Subsequently, we informed our classmates and we started
our meetings. Once a week, I'd share the word of God with them and it was interesting because as the leader I got to know just how much God cared for His people. I began operating in the gifts of word of knowledge and other gifts. It was an interesting experience. God showed me so many things. I led the Fellowship for one year, and then handed over to those behind us, and that's how it's been. In 1999 when I came back as a Lecturer, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Fellowship was still ongoing. I started helping out as the Patron and then continued when I was appointed as Director also, I have been there with them and by the grace of God the Fellowship is 32 years old.
What comes to your mind when you hear about integrity? When I think about integrity, I think about wholeness with regard to a person. Your words, your conduct, must be in harmony. Not that you speak one thing and then you are found doing a different thing from what you profess. In the public's eye, there is a general notion that lawyers are not people of Integrity.That lawyers lie...What do you have to say about that personally? That is not true. I believe as lawyerswe are guided by principles, by the ethics of the profession, which is a very demanding requirement. The glamour is fine, but the responsibility that goes with it, is something I've had to abide by. Of course, your client can come and lie to you. You are reporting what your client says, but apart from that, I do not coach my client to lie. If you are caught, there’s something we call the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council. You can be summoned there and you have to explain yourself. If they are not satisfied, they can disbar or suspend you. If you are a lawyer who can’t be trusted it will become known.
To clarify a point, it is unethical to coach your client to lie but ethical to defend the lie of your clients? You do not defend your client’s lies. I'll give you an example. Many years ago when I was practicing, someone had defrauded some people and the person came to
engage me as a lawyer. I told him to tell me the whole truth so that when went to court I could plead for him. He said ‘‘Oh, It's only those four people I have defrauded’. I went to court and those were my instructions—four people. I mentioned it, and the judge asked my client if he had told me there were 17 other people. The judge realized that my face changed… There and then, he said, “For not telling your lawyer the whole truth, go on remand for two weeks before we even talk about your matter”. Here I was saying that the person had defrauded only four people, but the judge was aware of 17 other people who had filed complaints with the police. So if someone doesn't know me the person might think that I arranged it with my client to lie when that was not the case.
In what ways do you think that Christians of today, especially students, compromise on their integrity and what advice do you have for us? You are building your life. People are looking up to you.You are taking certain steps. Others will try to emulate you. If you do the wrong things, you might think you will get away with it. Yes, in the short-term, you may get away with it, but it will catch up with you. You will walk into traps all the time because people know that’s how they can trap you. If you are ethical, it protects you. There are people who may want to come to me, but then they are told that this person is not like that. It protects me. Life is all about choices. When we make the wrong choices, it can follow us. I remember someone who was the treasurer of a voluntary organization back in High School. He misapplied money. Thirty years later, he tried to contest an election elsewhere. The people said ‘oh, you think we have
forgotten 30 years ago?”. And they didn't vote for him. My advice is that you should always remember that the decisions or choices you make today may have a lasting impact on your lives.
One of the more common ways students compromise on their integrity is by cheating in exams. What is your view on examination malpractice? Well, cheating is against the rules. When we’ve had instances of students cheating, we've dismissed them. Not just suspended, but dismissed. And sometimes i’ve had to write the letter and I do it because it is part of my work. When people get to know that you are unethical, you can’t be trusted with many other things. Someone who is a liar can also be a thief. It means that when there’s crisis or when there's pressure on you, you will bend. I don't want to entrust my life to people who can bend at will. You want to entrust your life to someone who you know is committed. The person keeps his word and that is very important.
Crabbe of blessed memory. I admire him because he was a humble person. He had risen to the rank of Supreme Court Judge and he still opened doors for ladies.There were little things about him which inspired me. It meant that you could attain to certain heights in the society and still be humble.
Are there people you are mentoring? I have a whole generation of former students that I keep an eye on within the profession. I have circles of younger lawyers that I interact with and guide and encourage etc. Sometimes not just legal work, sometimes personal issues and all that. I still have that relationship. It's sad that sometimes it looks as though we can't trust politicians generally. What do you say has gone wrong? What can we do as an upcoming generation to
Are there people you looked up to as far as integrity is concerned? Prof. G.K.A. Ofosu-Amaah, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon. He's a person I still look up to. I still visit him in spite of my busy schedule. I like him because he looked at the fact that we were people who were willing to learn and were humble enough to learn from him, and he guided us. He's kept an eye on me all this while. Up till now, I still to go to him. He is my role model. And another person is Justice V.C.R.A.C.
make this better? And what’s your view about a Christian going into politics? If you are a Christian, you are a Christian. Your Christianity doesn't depend on the profession you're in. There was a man called Mr. William Ofori-Atta (Paa Willie). He was the flag bearer for the UNC United National Convention. He was a Christian leader and at the end of his life people could still testify that this person, was full of integrity. If you use that person as a role model, it's possible that your yes would be yes, and your no would be no. When people know that this politician is a man of his word, they’d be more trustful. People think you need to lie to the electorate to get them to vote for you.You
have to give them many promises or else they will not vote for you. That is a challenge. Some of the fault is also from us the electorate. We put too much pressure on the politicians. If they don't say what we want to hear then we will not vote for them. And that also is not very good.
Any final words? You must guard your name diligently because it can either open doors or shut doors for you. When your name is mentioned, what do people think about? There was a friend of mine who took a car to the mechanic. This mechanic took the car to Lome and tried to sell it, so she had to get Interpol involved and all that before she was able to get the car back. 10 years later, she was going to buy a new car and she was told that there was a very good mechanic who was also the Manager of the company. So they were in a rush to come and introduce the Manager and when he opened the door… your guess is as good as mine, it was the very same mechanic! And she did not buy the car from that company. So, just guard your name, make your decisions or your choices knowing that it is a track record you are building. There’s a point when people will forgive you and then there's the point where people will say you ought to have known better. If you have good friends, they will give you good advice. When you are tempted, they will tell you to think about the long-term. Don't behave like Esau; think about the long-term. And those are the kind of friends you need to help you with your life.
Gratitude and Leadership:
Finding God in Leadership Jesus answered, ‘I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.’ – Luke 19:40
‘The giver should be thankful,’ said the Master. – Anthony de Mello, SJ in ‘One Minute Nonsense’ A team of all female surgeons from a teaching hospital in Ghana visited a district health center to perform free surgeries for the townsfolk. It was an annual event the health center always looked forward to, because they got to see the patients who ordinarily would not have visited the hospital because of poverty. These patients presented themselves to the health facility for treatment during the visits of these surgeons. For close to a decade these visiting surgeons have been using the operating theatres of this health center but never asked of the background of the persons the theatres are named after. They assumed they were some renowned surgeons the hospital had had in the past, or maybe some wealthy persons who had once helped the hospital financially. On this last visit to the health center, their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had suggested that it was a waste of resources since he believed there were more pressing issues in their local hospital to deal with than to visit health centers to perform surgeries for free. Just before the visiting surgeons entered the theatre with the host surgeon, Dr. Edudzi Adinkrahene, one of the visiting surgeons said
to him ‘I have never taken time to ask you who these persons you have named your various operating rooms after. I can see they are not labeled as the usual format–Theatre 1, Theatre 2, Theatre 3 and so on. Are these persons also surgeons or some rich folk who renovated these rooms?’ Adinkrahene smiled and answered, “the first operating room is named after the longest serving orderly in the hospital. He is currently on retirement. The second theatre is named after a kitchen staff who brings food from the hospital canteen to patients on admission every day. The third theatre is named after a lady who mows the lawn and trims the hedges in the hospital.The last theatre is named after one mortuary staff.” The visiting surgeon was dumbfounded, as she was not expecting such revered place in the hospital to be named after persons who were mostly taken for granted and definitely were not surgeons. With a look of confusion, disgust and curiosity, she asked, “so why such a choice of naming?” The host surgeon, who also doubled as the Medical Director, answered her saying “It’s not an uncommon thought that what connects leadership and followership are status and the execution of power. The leader is mostly thought to be a person respected and feared, with angelic oratory and wielding enviable magnitude of power. And it is such attributes that attracts and keeps followership. But I dare say, it is genuine expression of gratitude that makes a great leader. It is genuine expression of thanks that keeps followership. It takes a leader to see the near invisible services of his followers and appreciates them with joy and sincerity. It takes a leader to see beyond the services rendered and appreciate the heart that engineers the services. These persons that have these rooms named after them are complete embodiment of a heart that serves with
the patient in mind and God as the judge. Even this acknowledgement is too minute compared to their hearts of service. The visiting surgeon asked again, “But they do get paid. Don’t they? What more gratitude do they expect from the leadership?” The host surgeon smiled and answered: Who is a leader without a follower? What goals can be achieved by a leader whose followers are indiscipline and double minded? A leader must always be thankful for being given a reliable follower. The leader must be thankful to God and the people. It is not a birthright. Neither is it earned. It is freely given. It is by grace. Remember, if a follower allows you to lead, be thankful. It is only God who does not need followers to be who he is, God. He can create followers from nothings. But which human leader can create a followership ex nihilo. Remember, what use is a doctor whose patient refuses to consent to treatment. He may have all the good intentions, but the gratitude goes to the patient who gave up his privacy and dignified nakedness. Who is a generous man without a recipient of his gift? Always remember, you are a leader because the follower allowed. The magnitude of your gratitude determines the altitude a leader can ascend.’ There was some silence as if the visiting surgeon was still thinking of further questions. She wondered what sort of worldview that was. She wondered how best she could carry it back to her hospital. She wondered, and wandered in her thoughts. She kept nodding and smiling. Just when she was about to step into the theatre, Edudzi Ankrahene finally said, “it takes a man who understands his nothingness before God, and his equality to his fellow child of God, to understand that no one owes him followership unless God freely gives. So, thanksgiving ought to be freely rendered, though it is a Christian responsibility.”
Dr Anthony Gyening-Yeboah OCT/NOVEDITION18
"You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden".
Matthew 5:14, NLT
What makes a great leader? Dennis Boateng
Two things make a leader—followers and a Vision. But with one, we can define a great leader. There are many men and women occupying positions of leadership and enjoying the privileges that come with it but few can be said to be great leaders. This is because being a great leader requires that you have a great vision. It is an undisputable fact that many essential qualities make a great leader but one out of the many stands chief, decorating all the greatest leaders in history and even the ones we are yet to see.
Charisma is a magnet and courage, a forceful spear. Integrity is a strong wall and decisiveness, a sharp sword but Vision is everything. I have seen men and women rise to leadership because people felt they had charisma and could lead but little did they know that these men and women could only see with their eyes and not with their imaginations. What separates a leader from a follower is the ability to see—Vision. That is why although both leader and follower have eyes, it is the leader’s line of sight everyone follows. And when the leader has no line of sight (Vision), then you can imagine where the rest of the company are headed. I define Vision as the ability to acknowledge one’s current state and see a desired destination that is compelling enough to move you to action.
Where there is no vision, there is no hope— George Washington Carver It was John C. Maxwell who remarked that everything rises and falls on leadership. Many nations, organizations and institutions have seen growth because the right people came to office and conversely, nations and organizations have plummeted, never to rise again because they had for leaders, men and women with every quality but Vision. They failed to realize that leadership rises and falls on Vision. Where there is great leadership, there you will find a great vision. Great leaders define what matters. In defining what matters, Martin Luther fought against racial inequality in a non-violent manner and advanced civil rights in America. He had a dream—where little black girls and boys will be able to join hands with little white girls and boys as brothers and sisters. And God bless his vision. It has been 55 years now, and that dream is now a reality and still becoming. It is the same that led the Big Six to fight for Ghana’s independence. Think about all the great leaders you know and you will find that they had to define and pursue what mattered in their era.
You’ll never live a life that matters until you define what matters. Defining what matters is the purpose of vision— George Ambler It is said that the quickest way to amass wealth in Africa is to join the political wagon. Interestingly, this is as true as the Gospel. With such a mind-set, the only vision most African leaders carry is that of a fleet of cars, mansions abroad, diplomatic immunity, women and easy access to everything. All they see is how much they stand to benefit, which is the mind-set of a conman not a leader. No one comes with a vision to improve the lives of his/her countrymen or to build a country good enough to sustain future generations. But a great vision is the one which is selfless and has future generations in mind. And possessing such a vision makes one a great leader! A recent documentary that sparked fury on the African continent was on how some African leaders spent lavishly in New York, Manhattan while attending the United Nations Summit meeting. Delegates from third world countries slept in the finest hotels, ate from the finest restaurants and shopped the finest malls when their countrymen spend less than $1 a day. Even people from first world countries were appalled at the display of such misplaced priorities— milking a barely thriving economy for their personal comfort and greed. And misplaced priorities only point to one thing—lack of vision. Leaders are responsible for creating
compelling visions to motivate their followers to action. This is important because the glory of followers is in the vision they catch from their leaders. When followers get hold of a great vision, they prosper and the entire organization advances. Sheikh Zayed will forever be remembered as the man who turned the desert green—a barren land into a Garden of Eden. When he shared his vision to a group of agricultural experts, most turned back because it was impossible to them. But one man caught the Sheikh’s vision and is remembered today as the man who realised the Sheikh’s dream. Today, the UAE is an environmental miracle! The limit to what any leader can achieve is set by their vision. It is as simple as that but very crucial. If all you see is a mile, you will only walk a mile. But if you can see light-years away, then you can even go to Space. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is celebrated as the man who built Dubai. He is a Visionary! He knew that Dubai’s oil which was the main source of revenue to the country will run out in some years to come. So he envisioned an alternate source of revenue for the country and that is the Dubai we have today with all its tall skyscrapers and artificial islands. Dubai is now the preferred place for glamourous tourism worldwide. This man’s vision was enormous and he made sure to effectively share it.
The Sky is never the limit. Your vision is— Vrushabh Rathod Every great leader who had a vision, always had people to support him. They made sure their followers understood the vision in mind and in heart such
that there was no doubt as to whether it was unachievable. Their vision brought and multiplied their followers. It was not just a nice dream they had cooked up in their minds but something that was within grasp. It motivated them to action. It moved from nice plans on paper to strict and swift execution.
Vision without action is merely a dream; action without vision passes the time; vision with action can change the world—Joel A. Barker The reason why most leaders have failed to change the world or achieve significant things is because they only dream. A good friend once sadly remarked, “Ghana is such an amazing country but only on paper.” A vision on paper is nothing. It becomes something when it is turned into reality.
A great leader makes his vision a reality! So back to the title again. What makes a great leader? It is vision, vision, vision. If you want a leader to follow, choose one with an enormous vision and capacity to make it a reality. And if you want to be a great leader, create a compelling vision. Your vision itself will be your charisma and its compelling nature will drive you to action with courage and integrity. Focus on seeing clearly (having a Vision) and everything will fall into perspective for the world is in need of great leaders.
Gnomic picks MOVIES
tag: 2018 Christian Movies
1. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE Christian Drama Erwin Brothers Lionsgate, Road attractions Incredibles 2 Brad Bird
Won inspirational film of the year 49th Annual Dove Awards Based on the story behind MercyMe song of same name best-selling christian single of all time about bart millard, the lead singer who wrote the song about his relationship with his father IMDb 7.4/10 | 63% Rotten tomatoes Running time 111 minutes
PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST Christian drama Andrew Hyatt Sony pictures
Tells the story of Paul known as a ruthless persecutor of christians prior to his conversion to christianity and how he becomes a pivotal figure in the in the formation of the early church before his eventual execution. IMDb 6.7/10 | 47% Rotten tomatoes Running time 106 minutes
MARY MAGDALENE Drama Garth Davis Focus features
Mary, a young girl from magdala, resists the traditional roles of women in society, and takes the opportunity to rebel by following the newly famous Jesus and His disciples. IMDb 5.8/10 | 39% Rotten tomatoes Running time 120 minutes
COME SUNDAY Drama Joshua Marston Netflix
Internationally renowned pastor Carlton Pearson risks everything-his church, family and future-- when he questioons church doctrine and finds himself branded as a heretic. IMDb 5.8/10 | 63% rotten tomatoes Running time 106 minutes
tag: Big Christian Albums 2018 THERE IS MORE
Hillsong Hillsong Music and Capitol Christian Music Group 17 songs Length 92:24 Contemprory Worship Music This is the 26th album of Australian Worship Group, Hillsong worship. It was released on 6 April 2018 and recorded during the 2017 Hillsong Worship and Creative Conference.
2. LOOK UP CHILD
Lauren Daigle Length 51:35 Contemprory Christian Worship Music This is the 3rd studio album of the American contemporary singer released on September 27 through label Centricity music.
BURN THE SHIPS For King and Country Curb | Word Pop
Released on October 5, 2018, this is the third studio album of the Australian brothers and pop duo.
WHO ARE YOU WHEN NO ONE'S LOOKING: CHOOSING CONSISTENCY, RESISTING COMPROMISE Bill Hybels
4.1/5 Goodreads | 5/5 Christian Book Originally published in 1987 159 pages "When I listen to the evening news or read the evening news paper these days my reaction is always the same: what's wrong in our world will not be set right until people who love God and who refuse to cave to these overwhelming challenges put the things they believe into action, things like courage and discipline and love."
SOUL KEEPING: CARING FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOU John Ortberg 4.4/5 Goodreads | 4.8/5 Christian Book Zondervan Originally published in 2014 208 pages
"A soul without a center feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances" With characteristic insight and accessible story-filled appraoach, John brings practicality and relevance to one of Christianity's most mysterious and neglected topics.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART: PUTTING ON THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST Dallas Willard 4.2/5 Goodreads | 4.5/5 Christian Book NavPress Originally published in 2002 272 pages
"We don't believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true". In his book, willard argues that the subordinated alignment of one's being can be corrected through apprenticeship to Jesus Christ, which renovats one's heart.
Interested in acquiring any of these books? Call /Text +233558033725
"The reward that outdoes all others is the peace of knowing that you did right." - Jack Hyles