Also, since my integrity and the good favor of my brother and sister are of the utmost importance, I will take any and all concerns about my website, its operation, and any interaction with my readers very seriously. That said, if you are dissatisfied with anything that I write, believing that it is not the truth, I humbly ask you to confront me politely, in Christian love, and require an explanation after you have explained your position and what you base your opinion on. If you are right and I am wrong, I will fully and freely admit it and give you proper credit for correcting me. But I am mature enough to handle people’s challenges to me without even getting the slightest bit annoyed because the truth is worth the effort.
Also, because integrity and your good opinion of me are so important, I will guarantee you satisfaction on any transaction that you make on my site through the Amazon Associate store that I have set up. Your satisfaction is my highest concern in any interaction I have with you, and I will do whatever it takes to reconcile any problem you have with my store. I know how to deal with the biggest of problems and the worst of people, so I am fully willing to engage anyone or anything on your behalf if you are not satisfied. All you need to do is to contact me by e-mailing to email@example.com or using my website’s contact page, which is now set to deliver to my g-mail account. I will answer any and all contacts within 24 hours at the most.
After devoting yesterday’s posting to motherhood, I will return to and finish with Saturday’s topic:
As we draw closer to God, we tend to change, more and more through this process called sanctification. And one of the chief indicators that we are drawing close to God is a deeper and deeper appreciation for the greatness of our own sin, so much so that we tend to forget about the sins of those around us. When we reach the point that we are very intimate with God on a regular basis, we stop comparing ourselves to others and thinking that we’re maybe not as bad as them. Moreover, we stop judging others and putting labels on them. This humble Christian attitude and its polar opposite, pride, are captured in Jesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14). In this parable, Jesus teaches that we are unacceptable to God when we are proud like the Pharisee, who prays, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” The Pharisee in this parable is obviously very impressed with himself and his contributions to God. However, God is not impressed because this attitude is one of pure pride, and the proud will never see God, nor will they gain His favor. Psalm 138:6 tells us that God knows proud people “from afar,” meaning he keeps them far away from Him.
It is pride that makes us the most unacceptable to God. When we think like the proud Pharisee that we are better than others, and when we judge ourselves as self-righteous, thinking that our sins are not as bad as the other person’s in our rank-ordered, simplistic, legalistic view of sin, God will not hear us. It is such an attitude of pride that God has trained me out of in my walk with Him over the years. And the change is so complete that I do not recognize the man that I used to be just a few years back. God has brought so many changes in me that I can look back on even my Bible study teaching of the past and not recognize the prideful man that I was then. For example, I recently updated my teaching resource about spiritual gifts on my website’s Bible Study Resources page. While I was technically correct in most of my teaching in that study guide, nonetheless, there was a prideful attitude about some things such as the gift of tongues. God has since convicted me of that prideful attitude and has trained me out of it for the most part (I know He’s not done working on me, yet, and will not be finished until I go to meet Him on the other side of this mortal veil).
Another area where His changes in me are most noticeable is my driving. As a much younger man, when I would be out driving, I automatically viewed people in front of me as obstacles rather than people with feelings. I also automatically assumed the worst of them when they cut me off, pulled out in front of me too close, or made any number of other driving errors. Now, however, with God’s Spirit built up in me over time, I am more patient with people, willing to forgive them for offenses to me in traffic and all areas of my life. I am not so easily offended these days, and definitely not looking for an excuse to be angry with my fellow human being. Moreover, I no longer judge their actions so harshly, slapping unkind labels on them. I look at them more kindly now, wondering what is going on in their lives that would make them act this way, perhaps pain, confusion, or ignorance. Additionally, since I realize that I am no better than them, then I am more prone to easily make room for their errors, forgiving them for imposing on me, and even helping them somehow by my driving so that whatever is bothering them will not be made worse by my harsh, mean, or callous actions.
I pray that you will seek and find change in your life as you draw closer to God. If you do not know God personally, I pray that you would set that right today by asking Jesus (in whatever words you choose), to come into your heart and save you. I can promise that you will not regret such a decision and such a prayer for salvation by Jesus. And I can promise you that your life will be transformed for the better over a period of months and years as you walk in fellowship with God.