Series: The True Image Restored
Sun am 29 January 2012 – Kobus Swart
Luke 6:31-38(Msg); (Col. 1:27); (Gen. 1:26-27);(Prov.23:7);
The quest of finding the one and only living God, is reaching new heights across the world. More and more books are being published containing different speculations. People are asking questions about the reality and whereabouts of God. Can the true Church manifest the real answer?
What seems to be a priority at this junction, is for man to go back to his own genesis or beginning – having been created in the image and likeness of God. And in order to do this accurately, even we as believers have to throw off all false identities and layers that have been put onto us by others. Each one of us has to become authentic – who I AM! As a man thinks in his heart, so is he! (Prov 23:7).
In order to do this effectively, we have to investigate our relationships with each other, and with people in general. What I think about myself, has been greatly impacted by how others see and identify me, and this affects our interaction with one another.
The role I play in the work place or church, often affects my authenticity. I act a certain way because that is what people expect of me based on my position and/or title. Role playing can cause you to even change the tone of your voice and this affects your behaviour depending who you’re interacting with! Relationships become inauthentic. When I allow myself to be defined by others, they not only prevent me from being authentic, they also limit themselves!(Tolle).
Of course there are legitimate roles, such as parents to their children. And, yes children – especially when they are small – should honour and respect their parents. That means the terms “mom and dad” are not wrong. However, genuine love and authentic parenting will remove the need for role playing, and a child will feel that. Even in ministry capacity, the Word is clear. When you receive a prophet in the name of a prophet, you will receive a prophet’s reward. This has nothing to do with titles, but rather with recognizing the particular grace upon a sent one.
If what I think I don’t get from others – such as recognition, respect, love, mercy – has become part of who I think I am, I will always experience that lack. It sabotages relationships. Whatever I think everyone else is withholding from me, I am withholding from them! A good way to change this behaviour, is to give to others what I think they are withholding from me. You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow. The source of abundance is not outside you; it is part of who you are! (Tolle). Remember – Christ in us, the hope of glory!
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never–I promise–regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults–unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back–given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (Luk 6:31-38 Msg)
“Are you listening to this? Really listening? Listen carefully to what I am saying–and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” (Mark 4:23-25).