“Integrity means that you are completely consistent, not just with your beliefs but also in terms of how you act,” Shawn McBride, pictured above, told students and staff at the Momentum youth conference on Monday evening, July 23.
Speaking from center stage in Reed Green Coliseum on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, he challenged the audience to consider their actions. McBride is the founder and senior pastor of the New Life Community Church in Bowie, Md. He also is the chairman of the Youth and Family Ministries Department at the Washington Bible College.
“Many of you in this room will say ‘I believe in my heart that I have integrity,’” he said. “Do your actions match up with what you believe in your heart?” he questioned.
“God is trying to give you a makeover on the inside,” he added. “God could care less how you look on the outside.”
“If you are going to be a person of integrity, you have to examine yourself,” he suggested. “Look at the small little things in your life, the small cracks.”
He provided a few guidelines to help develop integrity.
“Simply be honest,” he said. “In other words, are you a liar? Be honest, tell the truth, if you get extra change at the store, give it back. Stop sharing music you haven’t paid for. Be honest.
“Honor your commitments,” he stressed. “Let your yes be yes and your no, no.” He reminded the students that their word has to be solid.
“If your word can’t be solid, don’t make promises you can’t keep,” he noted, reminding the young ladies in the audience to not let boys change their position on purity.
“Let you no be no and your no, no,” he said.
He said that integrity also involves not following the crowd. “We’re living in a society where it is so easy to go with the flow,” he noted. “Integrity says I’m going in a different direction.”
“Be sincere,” he concluded. “The way we live a sincere life is by holding our life up to the Son,” he stressed.
The evening began with an upbeat song from the Momentum choir, a group made of young people from around the country. Dan O’Deens, Gulf Coast project director for the Momentum rebuilding, presented an update on Monday’s projects. He showed a news clip from WLOX-TV Biloxi that had been taped earlier in the day.