Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Today’s Text: Proverbs 27:19 (ESV) As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.
I dislike fakes, and yet I must admit that at times I have been one. I have said I am fine when I’m not. I have pretended to like someone I didn’t. I have presented myself as more proficient at a task than I really was. The truth is, we all are fakes in one way or another. In varying degrees of “fauxness” (I just made up that word) we choose not to be real. Fear drives are false representations: fear of nonacceptance by others, or fear of not measuring up, or fear of being seen for who we know in our heart we really are. Whatever the reason, all faking is sin, for it denies the integrity of Christ’s character in us. It is unholy.
Several years ago I found a Facebook post that stimulated my think about holiness. I saved the picture as a reminder of the pursuit of Christ’s character.
Live without pretending – that’s integrity. Every part of our lives integrated together in perfect harmony with no contradictions. Nothing fake. Nothing done to impress others. Just a life lived as a reflection of the character of God in us.
Love without depending – that’s identity. It’s knowing we have God’s approval rather than seeking the world’s approval. That means accepting God’s definition of our identity rather than seeking it from others. That’s giving to others out of security rather than to receive affirmation. True love is not the world’s love that depends on a response nor is it love that looks for a return benefit. True love is sacrificial love that originates in the heart of God and flows from a Godly heart.
Listen without defending – that’s humility. Be able to be corrected. Pride defends the value we think is being attacked. Humility listens to the possibility of improvement. Pride protects personal choice. Humility submits to anything or anyone as being God’s instrument of perfecting our lives. Pride convinces us we are right and have rights. Humility sees the right in others. Pride cannot see a reason to improve because that would require admitting a weakness or fault. Humility can admit faults because value is not found in performance but in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Speak without offending – that’s grace. Speak the truth, but do it in love, with a pure and holy motivation to truly help the person to whom you are speaking. Do not speak to be heard. Do not speak to build up self. Speak to impart God’s wisdom so that it will be heard and applied. Speak to be an instrument of God’s grace to others.
Now those are four rules by which we all should live as we pursue holiness.