I know – I used this very same graphic – and the link to Amazon.com within the last two weeks. But it has so many things in it that speak to me that you may be seeing it again.
This time it’s a bit of “clarification”, early in her book. It has to do with “being real” and I quote, with one change:
Christians “sometimes confuse “being real” with not caring about appearances or transformation. One a few occasions, I’ve seen a lady lose her temper and shortly thereafter say, “Well, that’s just the way I am. It’s the real me.” It’s almost as if “being real” is an excuse for being wrong! She is implying that holding onto a grudge or struggle is okay as long as you don’t try to hide it.I’m reminded of a family member whose mantra was, “That’s the way I was born and raised,” as though change was impossible. Many people will say, “God accepts me the way I am,” and to the extent that acceptability is all we’re looking for, that’s right.
God does ask for more – obedience. Before I give you a verse, let’s look at the background. Saul did not ask to become king. God sent Samuel to anoint him king in response to the people’s desire for a king. Eventually, Saul stopped seeking God’s will, substituting his own – even to the point of taking on priestly duties. Samuel explained that obedience is required over outward signs of sacrifice:
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 KJV)
“Being real” acknowledges this, recognizes sin for what it is – going against God’s will in our lives:
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:4 KJV)
David had changed the lives of many people in this sin – Bathsheba, Uriah, Joab, Nathan and David’s descendants:
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. (2 Samuel 12:10 KJV)
David made a choice to fulfill is own desire without considering the consequences of that choice. As he attempted to cover it up, bad choices accumulated until entire generations lived with the results.
God knows we were sinners before we came to believe Him capable of forgiving our sins. He – and we – know that we continue to sin:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 KJV)
Thanks be to God for that forgiveness! Do we appreciate it enough to not repeat the same errors? Do we ask Him for His help in removing us from sin? Can we remember that He promises we can overcome temptation?
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)
Do we seek His way to escape? Or do we yield, as the seed falls on rocky ground and we fall away?
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:13 KJV)
“The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens. Walking With God Is A Decision”