Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Casting a True Shadow


    Someone once said that at any given time each one of us is in reality three different people.  There is the person we think we are, and then there is the person people think we may be, and finally, there is the person God knows we are. We can deceive others about our faults, and even try to convince ourselves by ignoring our own character flaws, but we cannot fool God.  He sees right to the heart of us.  At the beginning of Christ's ministry, the crowds flocked around Him and passionately proclaimed Him the Messiah, but Jesus knew mankind better.  John 2:24 says it plainly, "But Jesus did not trust them, for He knew mankind to the core.  No one needed to tell Him how changeable human nature is."

The definition of integrity was once described in these terms, "Doing what is right when no one is watching."  Since we can't fool God, the obvious first step toward becoming better men and women is to first be honest with ourselves.  A noble and Godly heritage from our family does not automatically transfer to us. Integrity is not inherited, it is earned. You work on it.

Lincoln communicated this thought when speaking of himself, "I don't know who my grandfather was, but I am more concerned to know what his grandson will be."  We can all find things to admire about our forefathers. We can all expound the virtues of Godly people who influenced us as we grew up.  However, that is them, they are not us!  We have to be honest with ourselves.  We need to quit trying to fool ourselves.  In his Second Inaugural address Lincoln used these words from the Book Of Psalms 19:9, " The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."  In other words, it's really only the God of the Bible and His opinion about us that counts.

Thank God for the good people that have made positive impacts in our lives.  It is right to trumpet the exploits of their noble endeavors, but their shadow is not our shadow.  We have to cast our own.  May who we become, and who God wants us to be, become more and more the same person. We have work to do. 
Lincoln said it best, "You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was."

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