Monday, October 18, 2010

Keeping it real

Hello again! Welcome back to A Good Bible Study: StressLess in which we are talking about keeping it real.

You have heard that phrase many times. Unfortunately, in our society it tends to mean keeping it selfish and self-centered, not real. It means being callous and uncaring about the feelings of others. It means doing what I want, when I want, no matter how it affects anyone else, and calling it being "real."

We are going to talk about God's version of keeping it real. There is a difference that means real love, real joy, and real peace instead of just real obnoxious! Let's pray first:

Father, You are the epitome of realness. You are the gold standard of authenticity, joy, peace, love and passion. I am thankful we have You in comparison to the empty promises of this life. Lord, today we ask you to help us see the real "us." Help us be willing to show ourselves, and accept what is good, and allow You to work in what is just a defense, and not a good one. Help us to let go of what keeps us separate from You, and from the wonderful creation we were intended to be. Thank You for again, guiding this study, guiding me as I write, and guiding the hearts of all who read these words. In the name of Jesus, amen.

So, we all agree that living authentically is easier. After all, if we tell the truth, we don't have to remember what we said. And living with integrity is also easier. Doing things right, and doing the right thing makes all that grey area just clear right up. So, who is the judge of what is right and what it wrong?

Read Deuteronomy 5:1-22

It's pretty clear. To make it even easier to know how to respond in any situation, read Jesus' words in Matthew 22:36-40.

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?'

Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

If you truly love God, and you truly get His sacrifice of sending His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sin, then You will judge all of your choices on pleasing Him. Is what you are about to do showing love for Your God, and is it showing love to His children which includes everyone on earth including yourself?

Yes . . .  No. Those are our choices.

What's in it for me? That seems to be the hot topic in our society. OK. Here is what's in it for me, and for you:

1. Self-respect. A sense of satisfaction, pride and honor. The respect of others and a good night's sleep.
2. Passion. The key to passion is integrity. Stop doing the loving things, the unselfish things because you don't feel like it and watch your passion drain away. You want to lose passion in your career? You want to lose  passion in your calling. How about in your marriage? Lose your integrity, and passion follows. Increase integrity, and passion soars!

Kerry Shook, co-author of One Month to Live says that "nothing frustrates us more than saying we believe in something, saying we value something, then failing to live it out in our lives. Saying you love your spouse, then doing things you know will hurt them makes you lose passion. Saying you love to help others, you love making a difference, then avoiding the people who need you the most, those difficult clients, starts pulling you down inside, destroying your integrity, and making you lose your passion."

Father, make us passionate! Give us a sense of integrity, and a desire to live it out every day. Let our greatest joy come from pleasing You. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Jorge Casais, courtesy of

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