Jacapo Bassano The Good Samaritan
Pondering my walk with God, searching my heart for attitudes that are not worthy of His love for me, seeking direction from His word, is a yearly foundational search of my heart.
We live in a world that, from the beginning, cares what people think. Seeking to keep up with the "Joneses" is age old. But scripture is so very clear that God wants our focus, our love, our heart to be on Him first and then our obedience to the very values of his heart.
Surrounded by a world that gives us permission to be self-centered, we glance at ourselves and all of our pictures on facebook, cell phones, listening for that little bing that says someone has thought of us---Hey, everybody, want to look at me and notice what I am doing and comment on my blog and give me higher numbers if I give things away and, and, and..........
We become our own idols and strive for recognition and affirmation. It is not wrong to desire to be loved and to belong. But Jesus meant for us to find our meaning in our family, our community of believers, those we serve in our own day to day lives. We were meant tie our lives to flesh and blood people who we spend our lives to help, so that we can better understand Him, who spent all for our sakes.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells of the lives of those who could pontificate and argue the law and wear the robes of righteousness, and yet, he exposes their worthlessness to God by their heart of neglecting those who really needed redemption--the man caught by robbers, left for dead, beside the road.
But really, who has time to give to such a person--we have our appointments, our priorities, articles for blogs, our day-timers and schedules to keep.
"Just a minute, can't you see I am doing something important!" I ,I, I, .... the endless I and me, me, me..........
"Let not a wise man boast of His wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, let not a mighty man boast of his might, but let him who boasts, boast of this, that He understands and knows me, for I delight in these things." Jeremiah
"He who keeps his life will lose it, but he who gives his life will find it."
And yet, as I read His words over and over again, I understand anew, it matters little what others think of me, if God is not at the center of my desire to live for His glory and the focus of my actions in serving others, as He did.
And so this week and really this summer, I am searching again to find, how I need to reorder my life to please Him, what is the work He has given me to do, how may I invest in real people with real needs, so that His loving touch will reach those in my culture.
What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?
And then, when I live in true integrity of following hard after Him, my children find the real him living in my home--not philosophy or curriculum or denomination or rules--the the real Christ who lays down His life, shepherds the sheep of his fold, the servant king who cares about real people.
True personal integrity comes from following hard after Him and obeying and loving obeying what He has called me to do.
What does integrity look like to you?