There is a cabinet in our kitchen that is pretty much filled with cups and glasses. (I’m guessing you may have one, too.) There are short ones, tall ones, glass ones, ceramic ones, little ones, big ones, and a couple way in the back that rarely, if ever, get used.
There are plastic ones that are great for little kids that might come over. There are some that are not cups at all; they’re actually bottles, good for carrying while on a walk. There are some rather fancy ones that come out on special occasions, and others that we use every day.
And regardless of their differences—the disparity in size or in what they are made of—there is one characteristic they all share. They all hold liquid. They don’t leak.
It is just no fun when a cup or glass leaks. It makes a mess that has to be cleaned up. It interrupts and distracts you from what you were doing—like eating your dinner. And it can have disastrous consequences, such as when a leaky cup stains a linen tablecloth or when coffee from a faulty mug dribbles onto your laptop.
A cracked cup can no longer be trusted. Its integrity has been compromised. You can’t depend on it. It goes into the recycling or, if it is a keepsake, it might get put away as a reminder of what it once was. When it comes to cups and glasses, trustworthiness and integrity are what matter most.
There is a reason why integrity is one of our stated core values at Adventist HealthCare. We define integrity as being “conscientious and trustworthy in everything we do.” The fulfillment of our mission to “extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing” is firmly anchored in our integrity. There is simply no room for a cracked or leaky vessel when the mission of our organization is at stake.
I have a favorite mug for hot drinks and a water bottle I prefer when I’m on a walk. I love the stemware that comes out of the cupboard on special occasions. But there are no leaky cups or glasses in the cabinet. There’s no point in keeping them there.
Integrity matters. Most of all.