When you take a close look at yourself, are you genuine or fake? Many may be taken back even at the thought of such a question. But be honest with yourself. Do your actions, thoughts, and speech truly portray who you are? Is the image that you paint in the eyes of others really who you are in your heart?
It is from the heart that your character is displayed. It is not what you wear, what church you attend, how loudly you sing, or how you illustrate yourself in the sight of others. It is called integrity. “The quality of being honest, having strong moral principles, and moral uprightness.”
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. Matthew 15:18-20
If you have characterized yourself as righteous, holy, upright, honest, and religious. Yet your actions, words, and thoughts about others are rude, dishonest, accusatory, unloving, uncaring, uncompassionate, and downright mean, I have to tell you, you are lying to yourself.
It is from the heart that all things flow. From a good heart come good things and from a bad heart come bad things. There is just no other way around it. Just look at nature, it is self-evident. A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree bad.
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:17-20
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” If the ingredients are good the pudding is good. Use rotten milk and well, you get the picture.
Do not boast and claim to be of God when you can’t control your behavior, words, actions, or even your thoughts. Because they betray you and will accuse you before God. So many can see the flaws of others but they can not seem to see their own. Or is it that they choose not to see?
Jesus said, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.” Matthew 23:2-7
So look at yourself with sober and honest judgment. Because be assured that God sees every recess of your heart. There is nowhere and nothing you can hide from Him.
What do you do now that you see you have been fooling yourself? The answer is, you must be born again by the Spirit of the Lord.
It is not just knowing that you are a sinner and that Jesus died for you. You must give everything to Him. You must turn from your wrongdoing and repent. Repentance means not only confessing your sins to God but turning from doing those same sinful things.
Seek the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and He will save you. He will give you His Holy Spirit to give you new life. Turning you from a bad tree into a good tree with good roots and good fruit. A new mind and a new heart, that you will no longer do the evil you once did.
Humble yourself before God and do not believe that you are wise when you are not. Do not act as if you are righteous when you are just acting like a hypocrite. Look into the revealing mirror of God’s Word, evaluate yourself rightly, and turn your lying lips into truth-bearers.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:22-25
If you do not, God will turn your lies back on your head in the end. If you do not come to terms with your sins your sins will come back to haunt you. God will make a fool of you though you thought you were wise. He will show all that is true.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:25-31