Dr. Henry Cloud: Why Integrity Matters
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CBN.com Dr. Henry Cloud says that integrity is something that matters in all areas of life. Integrity is more than simple honesty – one can be “honest” and still lie. True integrity is the ingredient necessary for lasting success. Usually people think integrity means being ethical and moral, but it doesn’t mean that. If you look at the true definition of the word, it means, “to be whole, integrated, complete…”
Dr. Cloud says our character, the ability to meet the demands of reality, determines our integrity. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. If we cultivate the six character traits important for integrity, we can have true and lasting success in all parts of our lives. They are:
1) Maintain trust.
2) Face reality.
3) Perform well.
4) Embrace problems.
5) Be oriented towards growth.
6) Be rooted in transcendent values (things are bigger than me).
All of us can grow in the kinds of real character that bring about fruitful relationships, achievement of purpose, mission, and goals. Integrity is not something that you either have or don't, but instead is an exciting growth path that all of us can engage in and enjoy. All of us have issues in our character that are great opportunities for growth and development. You are not bad or inadequate because of the areas in your character where you need improvement. You are human. Embrace it, accept it, and move forward in the journey.
FINDING GOD IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
Dr. Cloud was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi, but had his first real encounter with God a long way from home. He was a sophomore in Dallas at Southern Methodist University when he began his search for God. Dr. Cloud was part of a fraternity and had been recruited to college to play on the golf team. However, God was about to get his attention.
During the spring semester of that year, he found himself amidst what seemed like an ocean of shattered aspirations. His once hopeful relationship had failed. What’s more, he’d injured his hand, which brought his golf dreams to a halt. Feeling alone and confused, Dr. Cloud decided to look to God. Sitting on his dorm room bed, he opened a Bible to a random page. His eyes fell directly onto: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." He said, “God, I don’t even know if You are there. But if You are, I need Your help.” After praying, his phone rang. It was a frat brother calling to invite him to Bible study.
LEAPS OF FAITH
Throughout his college years, God began to test his faith. The first test came when God led him to change his major. Dr. Cloud had been studying accounting, a secure field that guaranteed him a job after graduation. However, he felt God leading him to change his major to psychology, which would require him to go to graduate school. Henry obeyed the leading of the Lord and by graduation time had secured a lucrative job offer and an acceptance letter from Baylor University. One day while in his dorm, he received a call from a prestigious graduate school in Los Angeles. During the call, Dr. Cloud sensed God asking him to forsake his secure plans and move to California. His move to California brought him to Biola University, where he earned his Masters degree. He also took classes at Talbot Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph. D. at Biola University.
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