Posts Tagged ‘ Honesty ’

Get Real!

Search me, O God, and know my heart… Psalm 139:23 NRSV

BusinessmanSome people are hard to read. They seldom speak their minds, and carefully guard their public image. You know there is more to them than meets the eye. But it’s hard to peek beneath the surface and get a glimpse of what’s really going on inside of them.

Jesus’ followers don’t really have that luxury. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many of us want to be known. We want to stop being pretentious. We want to be loved for who we are, and become what God created us to be. So we have laid ourselves bare before the throne of grace, and invited Jesus to redeem and restore us from the inside out.

MP900438486[1]How nice it is to be able to live a life that is honest and open before God. What a relief it is to not have to pretend or put on false fronts. What a joy it is to be a real and genuine person!

Today we can continue to pray the prayer the psalmist prayed. We can get real with God. We can continue to invite God to look into the inner recesses of our hearts and minds. We can continue to allow God to know us, and shape and mold us.

So why not invite God to take a look inside? Let God meet you where you really are. Then just watch what God’s grace can do!

 

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Socially Desirable Responding

They all deceive their neighbors, and no one speaks the truth… Jeremiah 9:5 NRSV

42-15737535I ask my psychology students to conduct a survey each semester. I want them to get a feel for doing real research.

One of the surveys asks, “What are the top five things that make you happy?” One semester a student reported the answers of a mall shopper. After the shopper finished the survey, he said, “Now do you want to really know what makes me happy?” He then went on to list things like alcohol and drugs.

That shows people aren’t always honest in describing themselves. Typically, especially when put on the spot, people tell you what you want to hear. Researchers call that socially desirable responding.

I think the more sensitive the topic is, the more likely people are to answer in socially desirable ways. That is especially true when it comes to matters of faith. Today’s video vividly illustrates that point by contrasting the witness a young man professes, with the thoughts the young man is thinking. To view the video, please click here

Thankfully, God knows the heart. God looks behind our words MP900443136[1]and searches our inner being. What we say many sound good and create a respectable image. But the faith we profess is of little use if it does not match how we truly think and feel on the inside. The truth lies within.

God knows what you and I really think. Why not be honest, and talk with God about where you really are in your faith journey. Then invite Jesus to meet you there. As you do, he will lead you to where God really wants you to be!

No More Excuses

If you say, “Look, we did not know this” – does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Proverbs 24:12a NRSVMP910221079[1]

As a college instructor, I can honestly say I’ve heard almost every excuse you can imagine. Once a student actually told me their dog ate their homework. I know things happen, but at times I get tired of hearing excuses.

I wonder, does God tire of my excuses? I certainly make enough of them. What this verse in Proverbs tells me is that God is not really interested in excuses. God goes right to the heart. That’s where the truth lies.

God doesn’t listen to excuses. God weighs the heart!

I’ve come to the conclusion that some students will always have an excuse. Still, if they would be honest with me, and take responsibility for their actions, it would be much easier.

Wise people don’t bother making excuses. They don’t waste time rationalizing their behaviors, and they don’t skirt responsibility. They stop pretending that their excuses make any difference to God.

MP900444256[1] Instead, they maintain a childlike faith by keeping an open and honest relationship with God. They tell God what is on their hearts. They listen to what God says, and then respond with loving devotion.

That’s what God wants, and it’s what we desperately need to do!