When Integrity Is Lacking!

When Integrity Is Lacking!

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. Titus 2:7,8, 11-13 NLT

POLITIC ALERT!

At what point–in this election cycle–are people going to admit that Donald Trump would not make a good presentative of who Americans are?

Though I have tried to refrain from giving him attention, his actions–cannot be ignored. This is not about hatred or bigotry or incompetence–it is about the fact that this man has no apparent moral compass and even with his lame attempt to apologize, sincerity is seriously lacking and the fact that he attempts to deflect and dodge–turning the blame onto Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton acted foolishly and immorally before he was voted as President and afterwards and he was punished for his actions. And no matter what Hillary did–as the woman wronged in the situation–the women who chose to involve themselves with her husband cannot justify their actions and in no way should anyone attempt to hold Hillary accountable for what her husband–who is not seeking the presidency–did. In fact, I don’t know too many women who wouldn’t have done the same thing Hillary did–letting those women know, she wasn’t a doormat. The repeated lies that Bill abused women should stop and I pray that God will deal with those who originated the lie. Those women knew he was married and many of them plotted to get next to him in order to undermine his position.

I am so tired of the deflection and dodge game continually presented by the Republican party surrogates that I am beginning to doubt their relationship with God.

How can anyone–purporting to be a true Believer–continue to justify and gloss over Trump’s behavior by blaming others?

Trump has repeatedly shown the world that his inflated ego will not allow him to seriously admit wrongdoing and truly be contrite with his abject apologies. His combative attitude is not lost to those who are watching what he does with clear vision–our minds are not blinded by party loyalty, but we see truth–in all of its glaring glory–and the man is not fit to be president of the United States.

Where there is no integrity–evil lurks–ready to spread its poisonous venom onto all who get in the path. And anyone who continues to justify the evil is just as evil as the evil itself.

Do I believe he is irredeemable? I don’t know; only God knows. Do I believe–as some evangelicals are promoting–that God chose Trump? NO! For anyone to believe that lie–especially someone claiming to be a Christian–either doesn’t truly know God through His Word and in Relationship with Him or they think God is a moron. Heaven help us all!

Until integrity and truth reign in the hearts of man and woman–we will continue to see this debacle–total exposure–for all the world to see and then wonder–“What’s wrong with those Americans?”

This American understands the problem and I have more questions than answers, but I will not sit idly by and say nothing about the danger that lurks if America puts this man in the White House. He claims, traveling around the country has changed him, but we see no evidence of that when he continues to mock the disabled, continues to belittle minorities and women, and has no problem backpedaling faster than a spinning top spins. Someone truly needs to explain to him, “the art of sincerity” and “how to avoid deflection and dodge ball” when running for the highest office in the land.

If ever we needed the wisdom of God to pour out on the planet, that time is now.

Lord, show us who You are in a very public way, redeeming the time for those of us who Love You and will not bring shame upon ourselves or You.

Humility!

Humility!

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 15:33 KJV

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. Proverbs 18:12 KJV

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV

By definition–humility is not an act–an attempt to fool others, but it is the essence of sincerity demonstrated by what we say or do. Per the dictionary–the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

When we are truly sincere–saying or doing–from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks–and we don’t have to tell anyone, we are being sincere, they’ll know it by what they see or hear.

Solomon reminds us that when we have reverential fear–respect–of The Lord, we receive instruction from Him because He is the only wise person and then when we act upon the instructions given, we do not need to boast of anything–bringing attention to ourselves, but we always point people in the direction of Him and He then allows to be honored by mankind. Solomon also tells us that when a person experiences destruction (defeat) it is because of their haughty heart–arrogance in their thinking themselves superior to others. This is especially true of those who think they are a “savior” and promote themselves as such, saying things like, “I’m the only one who can fix all the wrong in the world.”

There is only one Savior and His job has already been completed on the cross. But He has given us power to do all things well through Him. When we acknowledge that it is His grace, mercy and goodness that guided us in all we do that honors Him, He honors us with favor from all we meet. Walking in God’s favor, without drawing attention to self, is the greatest knowledge in the world to me–and I know–without living to please Him, I cannot walk in His favor.

How does God honor us? I cannot speak for others, but I can certainly speak to what He’s done for me. I have obtained jobs–positions for which I did not meet the criteria–initially–but His favor was showered upon me and not only did I get the jobs, but I learned quickly and was promoted into other positions. Instead of bragging about me, I expressed an interest in the job and learning all I could to be a benefit to the place where I worked. At one job, because of my ability to get things done, within the my first year of being with the company, a promotional position was created–just for me–in order for them to adjust my salary based upon my worth to them (so my boss at that time said). That’s God’s favor–not my ability. All I did was what I knew to do.

When we are truly humble–we don’t need to broadcast, “I mean it sincerely, believe me”, rant or rave in order to get attention. God already knows our heart and when we honor Him in what we say and do, He honors us with His favor. We don’t have to beg for it or pray for it–He simply gives.

Humility–is also not a “tone of voice” especially when the words we speak have not changed their tone. We can whisper hateful, spiteful words and that is not a show of humility. True humility considers the words before they are spoken, before they hit the airwaves and are mindful of those who are going to hear them. We can shout our praise for God and demonstrate humility because it’s not about us, but about Him.

Understanding who He is and all He has done for us, ignites humility in all who love Him because our desire is to please Him and not ourselves.

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 11!

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. Titus 3:4-8

Can we ever attain extending the level of kindness to others that God has shown towards us? Probably not, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Instead of allowing our fickle emotions to rule us, we can and should allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. For if we allow Him to guide us, then we get closer to being more like God would have us to be.

Kindness is a virtue–an outcome, end result, of love and mercy–unconditional love and forgiveness–not holding onto grudges or past wrongs. If we are not kind people–full of love and mercy–it would be difficult, if not impossible to show kindness to others–a genuine, sincere kindness, not the phoniness that many produce in their attempt to pretend kindness.

Genuine kindness shown to others does so without thought of receiving anything in return. Sincere people are simply kind because it’s their nature to be kind–and not attempt to impress or prove anything to anyone else.

How do we know who’s sincere and who is disingenuous? Sincere people are openly generous with kind words and smiles–they seldom raise their voices in anger and would rather walk away from a situation than to belittle themselves trying to make a point or get “one-up” on someone else. Kind people are just so filled with love they simply do–no questions asked, because they genuinely want to help or to encourage others.

So, the question on this eleventh day of kindness is–are we sincere and genuine people? Do we act with a hidden agenda when we’re being kind because we expect to get something out of what we do?

I pray that every kindness extended to others is a genuine reflection of love and mercy and when opportunity presents itself, a door is open to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that everyone who has been reading this blog and extending kindness is filled to overflowing with more love to keep extending kindness beyond the twelve days. I also pray that we have become so inclined to being kind to others that kindness is now a genuine habit, one we won’t have to work on but will stand out as who we are.

Smile–someone needs it today!

 

 

Sincere Prayer!

“Then Hannah prayed and said:

My heart rejoices in the Lord;

In the Lord my horn is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

for I delight in your deliverance.

There is no one holy like the Lord;

There is no one besides you;

There is no Rock like our God.

Do not keep talking so loudly

Or let your mouth speak such arrogance,

For the Lord is a God who knows,

And by Him deeds are weighed.

(1 Samuel 2:1-3 NIV)

When we continue reading this prayer, we see the heart of a woman who had humiliated by her husband’s other wife–Peninnah–who had children, but Hannah had none. God in His faithfulness to Hannah, heard her prayers and saw her heart when she pleaded for a child and now the child, Samuel is given to The Lord, through Eli to devote his life to serving The Lord.

We see a prayer–in sincerity–acknowledging God for all He is and all He does and confessions of faith for all He will do. All of this by a woman who had been ashamed of being barren, but now rejoices in the birth of her son–a son she dedicated to the Lord–rather than keep him close for herself–keeping her vow to The Lord.

We are told in other scripture references that it is better not to make a vow to the Lord than to make one and not keep it. Hannah understood the importance of keeping a vow to God and her relationship–her wisdom in knowing that He had heard and answered her prayer so she would no longer be humiliated, motivated her, knowing she could now hold her head high–after the birth of her son.

Are we sincere with God when we pray? Do we acknowledge our own shortcomings and ask Him to help us overcome them? Do we acknowledge who He is and all He has already done in our lives? Or are we just praying out of tradition with no understanding or relationship with God–not really expecting anything to change in our lives? Or do we treat God like He’s supposed to be our “sugar-daddy” and we only talk to Him when we want something from Him? Do we understand that prayer is communication with God and we should communicate with Him daily (as often as we want) and then we should listen to Him speak to us–through His Word or to our hearts as still ourselves to hear?

I thank God daily for allowing me another opportunity to get living right for Him–not because I’m so horrible, but I acknowledge my imperfections; my impatience with people who I think should know better about certain things and my moodiness over situations I cannot control. I acknowledge who He is and all He has done–in my life and confess His Word–over my life: By His stripes, I am healed and whole; There is nothing too hard for God and because I am His, I can do all things through Him who loves me and do them well; I am more than a conqueror and victory in Jesus is mine to enjoy daily; no weapon formed against me shall prosper–no amount of dissension, no matter how many people speak against me–nothing they say shall interfere with God’s plans for me–their words have no power to change my destiny as God has planned it. I don’t know about you, but this is how I pray.

God responds to our sincerity and our faith, not our emotions for our emotions are fickle–they change as easily as the wind blows. But He knows if our faith in Him is real because He knows our hearts. And since He knows our hearts, we might as well be real with Him. Pray–with a sincere heart and faith to receive His answer.

Operating With Integrity In All Things!

“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace” (2 Corinthians 1:12 NIV).

Can we have the same boast as Paul? Are our consciences clear and can honestly testify on our behalf? Have we conducted ourselves with integrity in everything we do? Have we been sincere in our efforts? Are we relying on our own wisdom or God’s grace?

This is something to think about since we can only fool man some of the time and God none of the time. So why do we attempt to be dishonest about anything, when God sees everything?

Some may not understand integrity so let’s look at integrity this way:

I  > Interested in pleasing God before anyone else.

N > Noting our shortcomings along the way so we can get honesty right.

T > Testing our own honesty in making decisions before God has to do it.

E > Engaging in honest practices from least things to the big things with all people.

G > Grateful for God’s grace in our lives that provides us opportunity to walk in His favor.

R > Rightly dividing God’s Word so we can live according to it.

I > Involving others to practice honesty on a daily basis.

T >Tearing ourselves away from those who practice deception, lying, and dishonesty.

Y > Yearning for God’s approval in everything we do.

Is this a foundational understanding of “integrity” that all can use?

God, help us to get a greater understanding of how we are to conduct ourselves on a consistently honest basis to Your glory so You will not need to be ashamed of us and we will not bring shame to Your name. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen!

 

Some morning posts may be shorter than usual.  I usually stop writing when I have nothing else to say about a topic, but I’m also involved in the NaNoWriMo challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Since I work, I may have to devote some of my morning time to complete this challenge.  Bear with me and pray for me!

Assume The Position!

“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” 2 Corinthians 1:12

When we have relied upon our faith in God and in hearing Him when He speaks, we can also claim that our boast is in our confidence in our relationship with Him. Having a right relationship with God puts us in position for the world to see our integrity and godly sincerity, not because we are so good, but because of His grace and mercy. If we claim to have a relationship with God and have no integrity, then the world sees us as hypocrites and judges everything we say or do by that standard.

In the very next verse, Paul states that he has not written anything that those to whom he was writing, could not read or understand. In other words, he was writing to people who were literate, not illiterate as some (naysayers) would say. I trust that all who are capable of reading and understanding (The Word) will assume the position of integrity and sincerity so the world will know to whom we owe our wisdom.

To God be all glory! Hallelujah!