Behavior Trap

Titus 3:5

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

In business, performance is the name of the game. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, you are constantly being measured and compared with others. We see this in sports. To make room for someone else who is younger, stronger, and less expensive, people are traded or just given their unconditional release. We basically grow up in a world where our behavior is constantly being monitored and evaluated.

So, when people come together to form a faith community, some if not many of these same values are carried over from the world’s playbook into the Church. The result is another worldly system operating under the disguise of a faith community.

One such value is to solely focus on behavior. When you ask someone in your faith community “what saves you?”, the response hopefully is a quick Jesus Christ. However, when the person’s reply is anything else, then maybe one needs to investigate a little further to determine the person’s perspective and relationship with our Lord.

The behavior trap is when you totally focus on the behavior of a person without knowing the heart. A Believer walking with the Lord will express their relationship with the same humility and attitude as the Holy Spirit. However, when one doesn’t know the Lord, the only emphasis a person has is the outward appearance. Without knowing a person’s heart, one can quickly condemn another saint without justifiable evidence.

This is why we need not so quickly judge one another. The behavior is easily recognized. But the intent, purpose, and motive are much deeper. For example, when one sees a person’s driving substantially faster than the posted speed limit, one can quickly state they are speeding, but to judge them for their actions without all the facts is almost impossible to do. It is very possible, the person driving the car is a doctor rushing to a life-threatening moment. Or a parent rushing home to a tragic event, or and you can add any seriousness situation where even you would be doing the same. This doesn’t change the behavior; but does place motive behind the action.   

When you truly realize our salvation is what Jesus did for us, and that he included us with Him in His relationship with Father God before we even knew Him, before we asked for forgiveness, before we were even born, puts his accomplishment into perspective. He chose us before the foundation of the world means before we raised one finger or even had one thought.

For now, behavior is all we initially recognize. It’s the starting point. But to effectively evaluate the situation you need to get to the heart of the matter. And that takes time. So remember, God is always working in the lives of those around us and the same grace God extends us is the grace we need to extend them.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Jesus, Merciful Judge

 And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:11 ESV

mercy 1

A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought before Jesus. The people wanted Jesus to agree with the Law which stated that such a person should be stoned to death. Jesus refrained from speaking. Instead, he began to write on the ground. What he wrote we will not know this side of heaven. But as he wrote, each person from the eldest to the youngest ran away until no one was left to accuse the woman. Jesus likewise did not condemn the person. Instead he gave her a warning and a personal mission; freedom and encouragement to change her ways.

When I read the last several chapters of the Book of Revelation which showcases Jesus as the person who will judge us on our walk in this life, I am very thankful.  We have a judge that has proven himself to be very merciful.  And I need more mercy than most. Yet, I am also very apprehensive.  Though he lives in us, leads us, and encourages us on a daily basis, we don’t always respond to him as quickly or enthusiastically as one fully empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Each season in life, we discover another area of self that is imperfect compared to our Savior.

Yes, sin is very deceptive.  Most of our human difficulties is buried under the disguise of sin. We need food, clothing, and shelter to survive. So rather than trust our Maker with the solution and seek-out work that is beneficial for all stakeholders, we turn to crime, prostitution, or free loafing.  We want intimacy, respect, and recognition from others. So instead of having Christ fill our inner desires, we manipulate, control, and bend people toward our way of thinking and goals.

Jesus knows how strong the inner desires of an unconverted heart can become. He also knows the solution.  He allows trials and tests in this life so we may mature in virtue, godliness, and Kingdom living.  We can be thankful that He is our judge and jury. He knows our frame. He knows our inadequacies. He knows our fears and doubts. Yet He also knows what it is going to take to prepare us for eternity. To be a vessel that will glorify God and productive toward others.

We may be guilty for a ton of stuff that has enslaved us to this world. Yet Jesus showers us with his grace and opens the door for us to change and follow Him in His Kingdom. So like Paul before us, we don’t even judge ourselves (I Corinthians 4:3). We place our trust and faith in our Merciful Judge, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How about you?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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