Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outside = Inside

Say what you mean . . . and, mean what you say. This is a motto which suits me well. I am not one to kiss a "behind" in order to get what I want. And, I don't appreciate when I am the one whose behind is getting kissed! False praise is lying, right? Proverbs 29:5 says it all: Whoever flatters a neighbor is spreading a net for the neighbor’s feet. It's difficult when engulfed in situations where the false praise is being slung back and forth like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. To sit back and observe it is quite interesting . . . and reinforces the importance of staying focused on Christ and, and in my case, keeping my mouth shut. I detest the falseness of flattery when it isn't warranted . . . and doesn't make sense. To clarify, I'm not talking about complimenting someone on a job well done, a beautiful dress, a great new haircut . . . if you truly mean it. I try to compliment people on a daily basis. But there is a point where people cross the line, and the flattery glares 'I want or need something from you.' We all need to take a look at our behavior when we desperately want something . . . are we flinging false praise instead of asking for what we want? Or, is the false praise used to bring attention to ourselves? Either way, work on making the outside = inside. You don't need to impress anyone other than God.  

In todays Gospel (Luke 11:37-41), Jesus teaches the importance of consistency:

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! 
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Serving in Clarity, Jesus asks us to trust Him:

"My beloved apostles who are experienced in service illustrate consistency. Always consider My will. In each moment look to your Returning King for instruction. I will have a purpose to each moment of your time on earth and it is necessary only for you to trust Me. There are many times when My purpose is obscured from you. Be at peace in this. You do not have to know what is in the King’s mind once you know what is in the King’s heart." 

Lay apostles, work on being consistent as Jesus requires of us. Jay has a great affirmation he learned during a difficult time in his life: I am free of the need to be loved, approved, appreciated or understood by anyone other than God or myself. It's a good one to remember on a daily basis!

Thank you, Lord, for all the work You have done and will continue to do so my outside = my inside. 

God bless,


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