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Life Hack #14 - Behavior Matters

Life Hack #14:

Dear child, if you become wise, I’ll be one happy parent. My heart will dance and sing to the tuneful truth you’ll speak. (Proverbs 23:15-16)

None of us become wise overnight, but in the development of our lives, we learn to embrace truths and live well. In turn, we bring honor to our parents - if not our earthly father or mother, then our heavenly Father is honored immensely!  Whatever the "parenting style" you were raised under, know this: God can "undo" the wrong stuff our parents did with us or to us in our lives just as much as he can magnify the good stuff!

God wants every one of his children to become wise. How is this wisdom manifest? In the truth we speak and reveal with our actions. The soundness of heart is often betrayed by the words we speak, is it not? There are times people try to deliver such polished speeches, believing their words will mask the underlying misery in their lives. Our words can only do so much to mask what is truthfully within the recesses of our hearts - in time, the truth will come out. The "soundness" of one's heart is determined by the things held as truths upon which we base our lives - so when we get the truth IN, it will eventually come OUT in the words we speak.

God doesn't just look at the "rightness" of our speech, but with getting the right foundation worked into our lives so that we bring honor to God in all we do. When the right foundation is allowed to permeate our lives, we begin to see character formation which will yield "solid" decision making, "right" actions, and "disciplined" living. Our words begin to reflect this foundation. I tried to instill some of the basics into the lives of my children, but trust me, I had to learn some of those basics right alongside them! 

It wasn't that my parents didn't try to teach me those basics when I was younger, but I just didn't fully embrace them in my youth! Things like thinking of another instead of always thinking of your own wants or desires, or perhaps being truthful and above board in your dealings. These were life lessons taught, but not fully "caught" until I realized how much my "modeled" behavior influenced the words I spoke to my children!

"Principled living" is developed in the course of time. Principled words are an outflow of embracing the principles one is taught. We cannot always count on our earthly parents to have modeled the behaviors we needed to catch, but we can count on our heavenly Father to have provided the individuals in our lives who will help us to model the behaviors we need to catch onto in our lives. God is faithful, even when our earthly parents maybe were not. 

Can we be "un-parented" from the standpoint of letting go of modeled behaviors which were not good or honoring to God? In trusting God's oversight in our lives, embracing truth as he reveals it, and in letting go of the wrongs we experienced at the hands of those who didn't model the right behavior, we can move forward. Modeled behavior "sticks" in our minds for a while and must be "unlearned" over time - just as it was learned. Truth embraced today will multiply. In time, as truth is worked "into" our lives, it will begin to be manifest in the words we speak "out" of our lives and actions follow words. Just sayin!


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