Do you struggle with
pride? It comes in many forms. Week before last we started a series on how to
keep it humble. You can read the first part: Keep It Humble: Part 1
We’re going to look
at the middle of a humble pie. The first layer is the crust: Romans 12:2
“And do not be
conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
If you are not in
your Word, and I don’t mean the kind where you read out of obligation or skim
or forget to chew on and understand what you’re reading, then you can not renew
your mind. And if you want to know the acceptable and perfect will of God, you
have to have a renewing. Enough said. Let’s move on.
Paul goes on to talk about using spiritual
gifts. But we’re going to pick up in verse 9. It’s too much meat to try to chew
and swallow down in one bite (refer to above statement about
chewing/understanding), so we’re going to pick it apart and savor it over the
next few weeks.
Scripture in small
bites, goes down not necessarily easier but more manageably. And isn’t that
what we want? To digest it so we can let it spread to all the parts of our
body, fueling it for service i.e. application.
Learn it. Love it.
How can we keep it
love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
This is the first
applicable step. We have to renew our mind–check up from the neck up. But we
renew our mind through the Word.
So here it is.
In the words of
Shakira from the Voice, “This is toughie one.”
do you think loving without hypocrisy means? What does it look like in action?
The KJV translation
says, “Let love be without dissimilation.” The Greek word for this is
“anypokritos” meaning undisguised,
Think over all your
relationships. Are you loving with total sincerity and no ulterior motives?
Really examine yourself!
So many times we
hear things like: I won’t go to church. They’re nothing but hypocrites. I can’t
serve in ministry, I feel like a
hypocrite. I really shouldn’t even be here.
Can I just say there
is a difference between knowing what is wrong and willfully doing it then
acting “religious” and working hard to do what is right, while
struggling with sin, weaknesses, and bad habits. The latter doesn’t make you a
hypocrite. It doesn’t make the church hypocrites. It makes us human. Flawed.
Far from perfect. It means we’re progress with lots of potential.
Are there hypocrites
in the church? Absolutely. But I believe there are far more Christians trying
to live this thing out called life and it won’t come without a few slips
ups…and even some big ones. Note* Take responsibility for them and apologize.
Never try to act like you have it all together. Even Paul made a point to say
he wasn’t an expert in all this, but he was looking toward the goal–Jesus–and
running forward, not looking back.
how do we love with sincerity? Free from ulterior motives? And how will that
If we cut our “self” out of the
equation by axing ulterior motives and insincerity, we’ve really just abolished
pride. Selfish pride. But how do we even do that? By nature, we are selfish. We
are prideful. We are looking for motives that benefit us.
We first: Abhor what
A woman I love
dearly prayed over a women’s meeting and she said this, “Lord, let us love
what you love and hate what you hate.” Not WHO–what.
It’s easy to abhor
child molestation, physical abuse, torture, rape and murder.
What about adultery,
fornication and drunkenness in the forms of our favorite TV shows?
What about dropping
F bombs and taking the Lord’s name in vain in movies with the disguise of,
“Well, that’s life. It’s realistic.” Should it be entertaining?
That’s up to you and
your convictions. I’m not saying don’t watch it. I’m just tossing out some
questions for all of us, myself included.
How do we abhor
evil? Especially the evil that has become our normal? Our entertainment? Our
reality. When we’ve been desensitized through media outlets?
“Cling to what
glue yourself, join with, fasten.
How do we know what
is good? Below are some scriptures to help us line up with good. To renew our
Check up from the
Life Application: This week, I challenge you
and myself to meditate on these scriptures. Examine our hearts and see where we
fall short. Where do we not line up with God? And then take the ax to what is
evil. Cling to what is good. Whatever you may decide to give up, fill it with
something good. Or it’ll just remain empty. Empty is not good. 😉 Do this for
one week. Just one. And see if your love becomes more sincere, less selfish.
See if the Holy Spirit sensitizes us to what is evil.
I’ll be honest,
there are things I’m going to have to give up that I find entertaining, but
they don’t bring glory to God nor line up with scripture. And I’ll be even more
honest, I don’t (at this second) really want to do it–ax it. Isn’t that sad?
But I will.
Because I want more
of Him. And less of me.
Because in the end,
I can’t take that entertainment with me.
Because this life is
all about bringing God glory.
And when I cut out
myself…that’s really what I want.
do you want? Will you take the weekly challenge to abhor evil and cling to what
is good? Let’s get focused.
we love you. We want to love what you love and hate what you hate. Open our
spiritual eyes to see what has become our normal that does not line up with
Your Word, Your goodness, and Your holiness. Give us the strength to turn away
from evil, to ax out things in our life that do not belong. And show us how to
fill our idle time with goodness. Convict us, Lord. Break our hearts for our
sin. For You are close to those with broken hearts. Mend us, heal us, fill us.
Let Your precious Word become a joy to us as we seek to understand Who You are
and your perfect will. Teach us, Holy Spirit, as we study and meditate on the
scriptures. Apply them to our lives, root them deep in our hearts so that we
may not turn from You. And Lord, daily remind us to go low, so that You remain
high. For Your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
scriptures to meditate on:
has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But
to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“And God saw the light, that it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4
Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it
day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in
it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good
success.” Joshua 1:8
soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart
from You.” Psalm 16:2
from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none
who does good, No, not one.” Psalm 53:3
it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28
good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with
discretion.” Psalm 112:5
are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.” Psalm 119:68
is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the
Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those
who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute
you…” Matthew 5:44
of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be
full of light.” Matthew 6:22
good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12
your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but
I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” Romans
not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary
edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21
do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but
he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11