I am in a funny mood today. I had to stay home this morning as my super son was complaining about being tired and having an upset stomach. The stomach I could have lived with but when he, at 3.7 years old is complaining he is tired I know something is wrong. He played with his Lego while I caught up on some reading. I had lunch and he had a HUUUGE “morning tea”. It really was lunch he just didn’t want to call it that.

McIntosh’s Divine Teaching is described on the back cover as “Astonishing in its combination of scope, acuity, and accessibility. In short, truly magisterial: this book is in all ways the product of a master theologian working at the top of his game.” Charles T. Mathewes, University of Virginia. What is annoying, in one way, is that Mathewes is right. This is the work of someone at the top of his game. It is not a light piece of work but a consideration of how doing theology means that God is reaching out to change us. If you think that sounds odd then read the review on Amazon or the book itself. McIntosh is right that as we reflect on God we are changed as God reaches out, embraces us and changes us.

The title of this post is a flippant response to the idea that jobs when they are advertised do not specify how much admin work is really required. You see all the ideas here are connected. If we consider God we are changed by God. If we consider administration, and a lot of it at that, we are changed in other ways. We can easily see people as numbers, computer programs, or forms. I know my signature has forever been changed due to a stint of paperwork required on an almost daily basis early in my computing career. If we consider what we name things there needs to be integrity.

I browsed my usual blogs when I did finally make it to work as these are part of the daily routine of how God refreshes my mind. On one I found a comment that actually relates to me though I was not mentioned by name – you’d have to know the situation to know I am included. On facebook (yes I am there) I found out that one of the cousins has finally had her baby three days after the death of her partner’s grandfather. This is communication with integrity. I appreciate it. I think we all do.

So much of what we say about God and others has less than 100% integrity. We put words in God’s mouth. We make other people have problems that we have but don’t admit we are confused. The classic is “What you have just written will confuse them”, when the reader is actually saying “What you have just written confused me because I was reading too quickly and not paying attention”. Another is “You don’t have enough faith”.

We are all guilty of this.

Biblically we are told “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19) yet we quickly reply to emails and notices without too much thought. I posted earlier this week about learning organisations. In all integrity I am not sure where I got the term from. I need to read the books by Senge to think more about this.

My concern with all my reading is in the end I will need to do more admin. I need to make sure everything will work and I need administrative structures to do this. So in the end no matter what the job description is, to be a person of integrity, I have to ask “Why not more admin?” And the answer, not flippantly, is “God only knows”.

So what are you putting in place to have more integrity?

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