Some would say that when they get to the “core” of integrity, they will take their stand.
Integrity is like an onion–there is NO core to an onion. The onion itself is the core, and every leaf that is compromised and removed from the whole is a diminishing of the “core” itself! The Bible calls it “truth in the inward parts” (Psa. 51:6). If the babies of compromise (in a metaphor to the people of Israel in Babylon) and lukewarmness appear in one’s life, then one must take these “little ones” and “dash [them] against the stones”…the “little ones” grow up to be teenagers and later our enemies (Psa. 137)!
Some other issues are the picayunish–things that do not have a significant impact on the Kingdom of God or on us. I call them “pimples, peanuts, and things persnickety”! These are matters that so often make up much of Church life in time, effort, money, and relationships. Spiritual gnats or leeches that attach themselves to the Church and our lives that draw us away from the larger goal and purposes of the Church are fleshly and satanic divisions of the mind, body, and soul.
The Scriptures tell us that where there is “bitter envy (rivalry, disharmony, selfish ambition, boasting, and trying to get the better of others and to look better than others) and strife (jealousy, self-seeking, competition, control, loveless service), “this is the worst kind of lie…[they] are not God’s kind of wisdom” (NLT). This “kind of wisdom” is from the earth (under-standable), sensual (unspiritual, power struggles, “up the ladder”), and DEMONIC! What is often called “Church politics,” God calls DEMONIC (James 3:13-18)!
Each of us must put on the “garment of humility” and receive the Spirit to keep focused on the larger picture in the Church and in our personal lives. We must hold to the main things (the major things) and leave those things that are “pimples, peanuts, and things persnickety” at a much lesser place in our life and ministry. There are enough things in our mind and spirit that must take priority in time and effort! Ask the many in foreign countries and the 150,000+ who will be martyred for their faith this year (according to Dr. David Barrett) what the important things are–the things that have eternal value. They will tell you the difference!