Showing posts with label Honesty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honesty. Show all posts

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Evaluating Our Relationships

It is critical to our growth in the Lord that we associate ourselves with people who uplift us. At the end of a conversation with someone, if we exit feeling down, disturbed and not quite right, we should be wary and watch closely. If this happens consistently, something is wrong.

It doesn't matter if we are praying for that person, always lifting them up and trying to be a Godly example and inspiration to him or her. If we don't feel elevated and at peace at the end of any encounter with them, our growth in God will be hindered. We hear the following statement often and we should take it more to heart. Some people we will need to love and pray for from afar.

How often do we ignore this truth in the name of being good Christians? We are good Christians when we attend to our own advancement in the Lord first, at all costs. We are good Christians when we guard our hearts with all diligence. Our Father does want us to come to him with broken spirits and broken and contrite hearts but not through being ignorant about our detrimental relationships with others.

There is no doubt about it; we need to discuss with God if we should be closely associated with these types of persons. The ones whom we need to love and pray for from afar are the very persons who drain our spirits, depress us and prey upon us, whether purposely or unintentionally. It is difficult to deny these people access to our lives when they continually burden us with the same conversations, the same complaints and the same attitudes.

When we realize, however, that they never take our Godly advice and that they never do what we suggest to resolve their own issues, it becomes clear that our relationships with God are being eroded through our relationships with them. They are toxic relationships, a form of being unequally yoked. If we persist in the belief that we are slowly influencing them and that we are long-suffering for good, then we need to think long and hard and often about the wisdom of that train of thought. 

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits. (I Corinthians 15:33)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (I Corinthians 5:6)

We have to also be sure that WE are uplifting to others. If we are critical of them, unfairly judgemental, always oppressive, non-receptive to learning from them, bearers of bad reports, complainers, holier-than-thou, etc., then maybe we should be removed from their lives through their own recognition of the truth. It works both ways. 

If we ask, God will give us seeing eyes and hearing ears to honestly evaluate our relationships so that we can walk in the light. The purity of our close associations is paramount to maintaining and strengthening our connection to God. Healthy relationships inspire and motivate us to higher heights in Christ Jesus.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)





Sunday, September 26, 2021

Giving Through A Pure Heart

 


God wants you to begin a tithes and offerings process when you are happy to give. If you are afraid to release your funds in this way or begrudge tithing and offering for any reason, then you should wait. If you are already giving and want to increase your donations, rather than force yourself beyond your faith, you should ask God to help you to advance in that area.

If you want to tithe and offer but have not begun yet, don't fear that you will never begin to give. It just means that you need more faith and reliance upon God to be able to give through a pure and fearless heart. If you feel that it would be unwise to give at this time, it is more harmful than useful to succumb to hounding from other Christians. They may mean well but it does little good to pressure and shame others by declaring that we can't afford not to give, that we will never prosper if we don't give, that God is angry because we don't give.

You may be burdened with bills and debts, have a large family for which to make ends meet or be struggling to build up your life on a very low income. The platitudes spoken by others, while they may be based in truth, do not inspire faith. Faith is built by feeding the Word into our spirits each day and by consistent and fervent prayer. These faithful, daily practices are an indication that we are asking Our Father for help and that we are serious about growing into giving. 

If you allow yourself to be coerced, intimidated and shamed into giving, you will do so from a fearful, resentful heart. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), for whatever their reasons were, begrudged giving a certain amount and they kept part of it back for their own use. Keeping some of it back was not the problem. We know that everything belongs to God but when their deceit was discovered, they were told that the money was theirs to give (or keep). In other words, it was up to Ananias and Sapphira to decide how much to give, if anything. All money belongs to God but it's ours to decide how to use.

It was not necessary for Ananias and Sapphira to lie and embellish the amount that they had given. The problem was not how much they had given but that they lied about the amount that they did give. They led others to believe that they had given more than they had, therefore they stole from God through lying. Dishonesty was the problem.

The bottom line is honesty with ourselves and honesty with God is of the utmost importance. If we give through fear, anxiety and faithlessness, it is similar to keeping some back but pretending to be all in. We didn't really want to give what we gave. Maybe we feel that we just can't afford to give at this time. We feel bullied but are afraid to admit it to ourselves and to God. Because of this, we step out before we are ready and for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, when we are honest with ourselves and God, we can begin to grow. God can help us to do it the right way.

The perfect time to start giving will never come, just like with anything else that you need to stretch to do. You'll never have enough money because that money will seem to always be needed for something else. Even so, you have to start somewhere. It's better, though, to grow into giving or to increase giving through pure and fearless hearts. God can and will establish it in you as you continue in prayer, Bible study and occasional fasting. The keys are honesty and to not be ashamed of that honesty, and faith.

When you come into the blessed peace of giving from a pure heart, you will always have this assurance:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)



Monday, September 20, 2021

Happy Monday & Being Honest With God

 

When I am honest with God, I feel so much power. It's like the covering has been stripped off of secrets and hidden things that don't need to be kept secret from God. Indeed, we don't need to keep anything from God. He knows it all.

The thought came to my mind this morning that whatever we keep secret from God the devil is able to keep using against us. We know that the devil works in darkness. Hiding our true thoughts from God and bringing sanitized prayers to him is darkness.

God is light. In him is no darkness at all. Wherever God looks is light. He sees all. When he looks at us, he sees the whole truth. All the hidden nooks and crannies of our entire existence is open to God's sight. He does not care about all of that, because His Son paid it all.

There is only one thing that God cares about. There is only one thing that is due from us, only one thing that Our Father requires. Honesty. His desire is that we do not continue to hide what is not hidden from him.

He wants us to share with him, tell him the truth, bring it all out into the open, put it all on the table that is between us and him only. He wants us to do this purging every day. Only then can we feel cleansed, hopeful and deeply connected to God.

Don't let fear of what God will think, shame about how we really feel and the devil's intimidation cheat you anymore.

Deep Honesty With God = POWER!

 

 

Image Credit: Risen Hope Ministries