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Monday, June 10, 2013

Reality Show - Get Real!

  • Sincere:  free of hypocrisy, deceit, or falseness; earnest; genuine, real.
  • Steadfast:  fixed in direction, steadily directed; firm in purpose, resolution; firmly established.
Wow!  Today's traits are pretty overwhelming when you read those definitions, but they are quite possible for the one whose life is tapped into the wisdom, knowledge and understanding which only comes from being intimately connected with Christ.  Most of us desire to live free of hypocrisy, yet when it comes to being totally "real", it is quite a different story, isn't it?  We somehow perceive we will be "judged" if we are who we are, so we "play act" a little to kind of "cover up" what we think others don't want to know about us.  The truth be told, the other person is probably doing the same.  This is why so many newly married couples have a rude awakening when they actually are married and not just dating.  We put our best foot forward in dating, don't we?  When the reality of who we married is apparent because we are suddenly finding out they leave the cap of the toothpaste, squeeze it from the middle, or don't pick up their socks, we are shocked!  Steadfastness is something we equate to the "never say die" mentality.  We label someone as steadfast when we see them going the extra mile, undaunted by failure, or simply "plugging away" even when others have given up.  Truth be told on this one, most of us wish someone would actually come alongside of us and tell us it is okay to quit!

God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding. He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.  (Proverbs 2:6-8 MSG)

God expects sincerity.  Plain and simple.  No backing down on this one, friends.  There is something which can only be displayed in the sincerity of our lives, so trying to be something other than what we really are is really doing God's grace in our lives a disservice!  Sincerity in a scriptural sense is really the evidence of pure desires and motives.  Now, don't get me wrong, we all veer from this at times, but God knows the intent of the heart and he is not distracted by our failures!  In fact, he is encouraged when we come back to him with our failures and actually lay them at his feet.  He knows there is something he can do in us at that point.  Look at what our passage says:  He is a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.  A bodyguard is an "escort" of sorts - purposed to protect the one they are escorting.  God's got his eye on us, even in the midst of our failure, and his purposed plan it to protect us!

God also expects steadfastness.  If you ever struggle with sincerity even a little bit, you probably also struggle with this one, as well.  You see, sincerity opens the door for us to be steadily directed in our path.  When we are real about our struggles, God is consistent in his direction.  Consistency is one of the character traits of a good bodyguard.  He is ever-vigilant to keep an eye on specific things which could potentially 'trip up' the one he is escorting.  His vigilance is unwavering.  We can stand assured, God is steadfast in his commitment to us, even in our wavering condition!  His vigilance over our lives never ends.

Now, sincerity and steadfastness give us a pretty solid foundation upon which we might walk.  I know this because I struggled with sincerity for a long time.  I tried to hide behind all kinds of facades - both good and bad.  Then one day, I came to the realization it was too hard keeping the facades straight!  I could not remember which one I wore in which circumstance.  Maybe you have found yourself in the same place.  What you lack in sincerity you will reveal as also lacking in steadfastness because the foundation is not solid!  Let me go back to the point I made earlier - God doesn't expect perfection - he examines the motives (the heart).  Just because the heart is sincere doesn't mean every action will be perfect.  It means we will easily recognize when we aren't acting as we should!  It also means we will quickly seek to rectify the wrong action!  There is a relationship between the sincerity of heart and the firmness of the foundation upon which we stand.  If the heart is fickle, constantly drug this way and that by every emotional whim, the foundation will be pretty shoddy.  The closer we get to being real with God, allowing him to make us "comfortable" with who we really are, and then allow him to remove the masks we wear, the better the foundation will be in our lives.

God keeps his eyes on all who live honestly - he pays special attention to those committed to living according to his purpose.  It cannot be said any better!  We may be a little shocked to examine ourselves in the light of God's Word - seeing ourselves as we really are.  In the moments which ensue after we first recognize the lack of foundation we have created by our attempting to live behind the masks, we may feel a little "undone".  Yet, it is in our "undoing" that God is free to begin his "doing" in our lives.  Just sayin!