I shared in a post last year how I took an unnecessary next step with a pre-marriage counseling assignment. I actually mailed letters about feelings and thoughts I harbored over a decade. I can report that my father STILL has that letter. The letter is almost twenty years old, y’all. Of all the recipients, he brings it up and still wants to talk about it. But here is the thing….. I was ignorant as a kid and could not work through my feelings – just immature physically and emotionally. AND I was a dumb young adult deceived by my perceptions of what ‘should’ have been – immature experientially. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT LETTER. It is so not relevant. I cringe when he gets the letter to cover some of the points and my mother just looks over whatever she is reading and smiles. She threw her letter in the trash after her once over.
Growing in Christ and not to mention embarking on my eighteenth wedding anniversary, one child grown and gone and two dependent ones in high school I NOW know to wait. Whatever I didn’t/don’t understand, truth will be revealed if I am open to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
If I close my heart and mind and just resign to act out or speak out based on immature perceptions, I cannot be surprised when others interact with me based on that last act or word. Even if I believe I have moved on.
Integrity is who and what you really are.
When character is lost, all is lost.
Image is nothing without integrity and character to back it up. Galatians 6:3
In the quest for comfort, convenience, control, favor, bragging rights, a prize, a nod, a look…fill in the blank…..we can become careless and habitual in what we expect and how we deal with the circumstances (people and things). We age with these careless habits mixed in with knowing and doing some things according to the Integrity Screen. This moral malignancy doesn’t disappear or turn righteous on our command. In fact, these hard pieces come out on queue when certain personal and environment circumstances collide.
How do you prevent the hard heart process from reaching maturity?
- Fellowship/exhortation Heb. 3:13; Rom. 15:1
- The Word of God Heb. 4:12
- A life of prayer Heb. 4:14-16
Salvation brings a new capacity and a new way of thinking. It is a new capacity to love God. It is a new purpose to do the will of God. It is a new capacity to have a changed heart.
Hebrews 10:19-39 (GNT) says:
19 We have, then, my friends, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Jesus. 20 He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain—that is, through his own body. 21 We have a great priest in charge of the house of God. 22 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. 23 Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. 24 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.
26 For there is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. 27 Instead, all that is left is to wait in fear for the coming Judgment and the fierce fire which will destroy those who oppose God! 28 Anyone who disobeys the Law of Moses is put to death without any mercy when judged guilty from the evidence of two or more witnesses.29 What, then, of those who despise the Son of God? who treat as a cheap thing the blood of God’s covenant which purified them from sin? who insult the Spirit of grace? Just think how much worse is the punishment they will deserve!30 For we know who said, “I will take revenge, I will repay”; and who also said, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
32 Remember how it was with you in the past. In those days, after God’s light had shone on you, you suffered many things, yet were not defeated by the struggle. 33 You were at times publicly insulted and mistreated, and at other times you were ready to join those who were being treated in this way. 34 You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your belongings were seized, you endured your loss gladly, because you knew that you still possessed something much better, which would last forever. 35 Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. 36 You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises. 37 For, as the scripture says,
“Just a little while longer,
and he who is coming will come;
he will not delay.
38 My righteous people, however, will believe and live;
but if any of them turns back,
I will not be pleased with them.”
39 We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved.