Go ahead...be undone

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)

Let's look at two traits described in this passage - being sincere and steadfast. To be sincere, one must be free of hypocrisy, deceit, or falseness; totally earnest in their pursuits; genuine or real in their living. To be steadfast, one must be fixed in one's direction - what we may refer to as being steadily directed. This also calls for us to be firm in our purpose, resolute; firmly established in our path. For the one whose life is tapped into the wisdom, knowledge and understanding which only comes from being intimately connected with Christ, these traits are assured, but we must work to see them incorporated into each and every area of our lives. 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" for being who we 'really' are, so we "play act" a little to kind of "cover up" what we think others don't want to know about us. Truth be told, the other person is probably doing the same thing. 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. When the going gets hard, most of us wish someone would actually come alongside and just tell us it is okay to quit!

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 doing God's grace in our lives a disservice! Sincerity in a scriptural sense is really the evidence of pure desires and motives. 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 has 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. 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 us up'. 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.

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 lacking in steadfastness because the foundation is not solid! Remember, 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 moved 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 may feel a little "undone". Yet, it is in our "undoing" that God is free to begin his "doing" in our lives. Just sayin!

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