Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Dear Colleagues,


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 Only God really knows the true motivations of our heart.  Are we driven by rock rib convictions that are born out of prayerful intake of Gods word through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit?  Or by negative, reactionary impulses which are the product of a self-life that has never been brought under the Lordship of Christ?  Such as:+

Fear of failure. Fear that I might not make it. Fear of the future.  Fear that somewhere down the road everything will fall apart.  Fear of rejection. Fear that I might get cancer. A life controlled by fear has no concept of the liberation that is available in Christ.

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciplesThen you will know the truth, and the truth will set you freeSo if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  (Jn. 8:31,32,36)

Resentment or anger based on unresolved issues from the past. Perhaps your father told you you wouldnt make it, so you are out to prove him wrong. Or your brother and you are in heated competition to beat each other out in business or sports or the social climb. Or someone angled you out of some money or a coveted position so you are out to grind him into the dust. Or you are still angry over your rough childhood: Abused, unloved, played 2nd string in sports, etc. Perhaps you are gnashing your teeth over your goals being blocked.  So, you are out to prove somethingwith a chip on your shoulder.

An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sinsSee to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Prov. 29:22; Heb.12;15)

Guilt: You may be unable to forgive yourself for the terrible sins you committed in your secret past. Or perhaps you are struggling with guilt over a current sin to which you are in bondage. Christs forgiveness seems academic rather than experiential. Or perhaps you are allowing yourself to be beat up by a bully pulpit type pastor:  If you loved God more today than you did a year ago, you would be praying more, giving more, trusting God more, serving more.  So you are forever trying to jump over a raised bar of performance. 

  If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before GodAs far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us… (I Jn. 3:21b; Psa. 103:12)

Materialism that manifests itself in a restless discontentment with what you have.  You must possess the newest technical advances for your computer, PDA, etc. Or you must have a larger house. Or increasingly more exotic vacations. What satisfied you 5 years ago is a bore today.  In truth you are on the upward mobility treadmill.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his incomeGodliness with contentment is great gain. (Ecc. 5:10 NLT; I Tim. 6:6b)

Need for approval: Because you are not experiencing the rest found in Gods great grace, you relate to people in a manner that seeks to earn their acceptance. Thus, you are forever ministering in the Name of Christ, often at the expense of legitimate personal and family needs. Its a service born not so much out of a deep spiritual concern, as it is the incessant need for approval.

There remains therefore a rest for the people of GodWe are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. (Heb. 4:9 NKJV; 1 Thes. 2:4b)

+  Seed thoughts from The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren

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