THOUGHTS, WORDS, TRUST
Pro. 23.7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you. -NASB
And from some English translations something pretty intense to say the least:
For like a hair in the throat, so are they. “Eat and drink!” they say to you; but they do not mean it. -NRSV, CEB
There have always been fakers, people without integrity who scam people, say things with motive to curry favor and in essence, are not people of integrity. The “I’ll pose as your friend to get what I want from you” game has always been played and one can easily find people in both Testaments as well as everyday life who consistently do so.
Here’s the problem: how to know the difference between actors and real-deal people, between sincerity and someone currying favor because they want something they perceive you may have that they desire.
Years ago a very genuine person asked me “How do you tell when someone is lying or being honest?”
My reply included thoughts about the difficulty yet necessity of hearing (and if possible reading, etc.) their words, and watching their lives over time, if possible even years, not mere moments. What sort of consistency in relational dealings did/do they exemplify?
The foundational issue is trust.
This is true about what we think and believe about Jesus Himself, Paul, Peter, John, James, Moses, David and others we read about in scripture. It is also true regarding Judas, Jannes and Jambres, King Saul, Ananias and Sapphira, those Jude mentions in his letter. It is just as true about you, me and all of us dear reader.
If you truly don’t believe you can trust God or someone else no authentic relationship with them is possible. In fact a close relationship with them doesn’t make sense.
You and I have experienced such, true?
How do you love someone you don’t trust?
First off, God loves us even though He’s well aware of our propensity to ignore and at times even outright rebel against Him. He does not automatically trust us, nor is He at all ignorant about our being made in His image. He recognizes we are imperfect, flawed sinners, not totally righteous in all our thoughts, words and deeds. He IS Love and the Source of all true love – it’s His nature.
For us to love one another with any reflection of Him we must ourselves be accountable to Him and godly people of integrity He sends our way. Risks abound in all this, don’t they?
The fear- reverence, respect and knowledge we shall all give account to God rather than the fear of people is truly key to all this. Eyes on God, deep desire to truly serve Him and others, faith that God is indeed WITH us throughout our days and even “the dark night of the soul” are all core-core-core to how to navigate such people and whatever the circumstances involved.
Knowing and following the Risen Jesus, studying and application of His Word the Bible, confessing OUR sins, walking our (HIS) talk puts our feet on solid ground in relation to both God and others.
Yet none of this fully removes us from rip-off people- disingenuous, self-worshiping or even those with evil-motives in this fallen world.
Can we learn how to truly pray? Is James correct that if we lack wisdom God will give it to us? Is it possible for us to not get fleeced by the “P.T. Barnum’s” of our world, even in the church world? I believe it is quite possible if we ourselves will guard our own hearts, forgive those who have sinned against us -and one more thing:
If your motive and focus is regularly about getting rather than giving (please meditate on this point) you may find within yourself seeds very alike those in the person mentioned above in Proverbs.
Certainly there are times justice requires confrontation and for example, Matthew 18 -but if getting, taking, receiving, the me-first attitude is the motive you share with the actor, and/or false prophet you will likely reap what you’ve sown and find yourself often in such company.
God give us grace to check our own hearts, keep focus on Him and not merely look for gain in our relationships -but being a loving, serving gift to others.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn