Today’s Theme: Peeling Back the Layers of Our Hypocrisy, Ignorance, and Immaturity
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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
If our walk with God was intended to be easy, then everyone would be able to do it effortlessly and we wouldn’t have trauma in our lives, and Jesus would never have been placed in the position to atone for our sins and sacrifice his human existence to prove an eternal spiritual existence. If our walk was to be easy, then even Jesus’ demonstration through his life would have been made easy.
The world around us is filled with goodness that oftentimes gets manipulated and coerced into following the darkest of ways—but the foundation and roots are still governed by God, who is merely waiting for the world to make a decision and commitment to walk in His Light, by His ways. As you make your journey through life, you will be tempted to stray from your path. You will be tempted to return to old habits that plagued your life. You must decide which life you want to lead.
I’m not telling you to change your life like a light switch because as quickly as you attempt to turn one way, you will quickly be tempted and give in to resuming your old lifestyle. Every day we must work and strive to be better people. Every day we must work to give up bad habits. Everything in life can’t be dropped cold turkey without a great deal of pain and frustration, and if we could easily handle pain and frustration, then we would never have adopted the negative habits, to begin with!
If you are accustomed to cussing folks out and calling people out of their names in your private life, but in your public life, you act like the sweetest angel ever created—sometimes going so far as to pretend as though you don’t cuss people out and call them out of their names—guess what? You are a liar, and you are first telling the biggest lie to yourself.
We all have flaws, and none of us are perfect. Look at your flaws and decide what you can and will begin to change about yourself beginning today. Then each day, work at turning that negative into a positive, turning pain into strength, and fear and hate to love.
When I was a senior in high school, my father always said to me, “Cussing is what a person does when they can’t intelligently convey what they are trying to say.” Many of us would opt to cuss than take the time to find another way to verbalize what we are thinking and how we feel. It didn’t mean my dad didn’t use profanity. It doesn’t mean that I don’t. But can we find other words to describe our joy, pain, frustration, and anger? Sure, we can. But will we make that conscious effort?
Are you willing to try to find alternative ways to express yourself?
Watch what you invest, ingest, and digest into your life, and decide what you can remove immediately or gradually. Do you enjoy watching a certain type of movie, playing a certain type of video game, indulging in certain “private” acts of pleasure, or listening to certain genres of music, but you know you may or may not admit to it publicly, at church, or to your beloved grandmother? Seems hypocritical, doesn’t it?
Only if you profess to be living some high and mighty way while knowing you’re not. If you love horror and gore movies, don’t act like you only watch the Hallmark channel. If you’re into playing violent video games, don’t pretend to be playing something more appropriate for a small child. It doesn’t make you evil for enjoying violent entertainment. Lying about it simply makes you a liar. God already knows what you do, so telling humans something different means you’re more concerned about their judgment and opinion of you than His.
If you’re concerned with the things you do privately and want to change in some way, then work to do something about it but don’t be a fraud in the process. We’re all works in progress, in a process that takes time.
Just “keep it real” while God is molding you; if not, life only gets harder, more difficult, and more frustrating, and you will find yourself trying to avoid the pain and difficulty—which is only going to lead you down paths of more deception. We have to be comfortable in the pain and discomfort, understanding it’s temporary. Masking it and numbing it with counterfeit alternatives pulls us farther from God.
Let’s be responsible and accountable. Pick a lane, and don’t straddle or swerve across them—if you do, expect to get a ticket for lane violations!
Father, every day I pray to you countless times as the hours pass and my blessings shine over my mounting trials and tribulations. The closer I get to You, Lord, the more challenging life seems to become at times because the way of the world is beginning to now seem different to me, and I am seeing my life through a different lens.
As these changes are taking place, the “enemy” keeps trying to convince me to stay as my old self, to hang with those people who aren’t good stewards and ambassadors for Your Kingdom; and there is pressure to behave, think, and speak in a way that is not loving and Christ-like.
As I move to focus my eyes, heart, and life more on You I am being tempted and tested by outside forces to live a double life, one that shines brightly as Your representative on some days, or during certain periods of the day, and the other life that stays hidden away where I can secretly indulge in my old “ways” of living. Father this battle for my soul can only be won when I let go, surrender, and let You have all of me.
When I question why certain things seem to happen to me at the oddest and most inconvenient of times, why bad situations seem to blindside me, and why I’m tempted by outside forces to invest my time and energy into other things and other people instead of You, I know that it is because it is a test of my commitment and devotion to You. I want my relationship with You to be unshakable and unquestionable. I love You, Father. Amen.
Well, family, I hope this message has helped you as it has helped me. I will continue to pray for your peace, joy, and safety each day and hope that you, too, pray for me. I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2011-2023. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com