Acting Honorably and in Good Faith
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15
As I was reading through the Book of Judges on vacation, a phrase stood out to me in Chapter 9, "If then you have acted honorably and in good faith." I cannot think of a more practical way to live in peace with all people than by treating them honorably and in good faith. Unfortunately, as these verses in Hebrews point out, our unhealthy harboring of bitterness often defiles many both inside and outside the body of Christ. Bitterness can be due to our own insecurities, petty differences, our unwillingness to forgive others, or not allowing them to be less than perfect. As a result, we tend to form we/they alliances and pull people into our cause. As justified as we may feel, or how righteous we may think our cause for action is, we need to make sure that we are not pursuing our purposes instead of God's.
To be holy is to be set apart for God's purposes. Sometimes I think that we spend too much time gossiping with friends to determine our course of action rather than sitting at Jesus' feet and allowing Him to transform our sinful fleshly mind until we reflect God's love which builds up the body of Christ and others.
Begin by examining your relationships - family, friends, co-workers, church family, enemies and strangers. Are you acting honorably and in good faith? Or, are you justifying your fleshly thoughts and behavior? God's call is for us to love unconditionally. Ask God to search your heart, to examine your motives. Listen to the thoughts in your head. Do they line up with the holiness of God? Are you doing things because God has called you to do them or because of what someone else has done to you?
The most powerful witness any one of us has is being a vessel through whom God's unconditional love flows. Ask God to make you that vessel today. Begin by asking God to forgive you for your pettiness and then forgive those who have wronged you. Take those thoughts of bitterness and revenge to the altar. Make right any relationships you have strained by your actions. Renew your mind. Let God's love bear the fruit of peace in your relationships.
We all walk before our Audience of One and one day we will stand before our Audience of One. If we have acted honorably and in good faith, we can joyfully look forward to that day!
Posted on Mon, August 1, 2011
by Cathy Hurtado