What’s going to happen to the kids?

Genesis 31:34-35 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing. Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.

boy hands over faceIn the movie, “Liar, Liar” Jim Carrey plays a lawyer who lies about everything in life.  He lies in court, lies to his coworkers, his friends, and his son.  Then one day, his son makes a birthday wish that his dad wouldn’t be able to lie for a day.  What ensues is not only hilarious, but teaches this man that being a liar will only ruin your life.  I don’t know that Jacob and his family understood this principle.

Laban was a deceiver.  He tricked Jacob into marrying the wrong daughter.  Jacob was a thief and a cheater.  He stole his brother’s inheritance and cheated while breeding the sheep.  Rachel was a liar. She said she was on her period so her daddy wouldn’t find the idols.  Deceivers, thieves, cheats, liars… it runs in the family.   Here’s the thing: it does run in the family.  This isn’t some random issue, it is generational.  What’s going to happen to the kids?  Will they be the same?  The answer is probably, “yes.”

This stuff in our lives will get passed on.  Our filthy mouths or our filthy hearts, our kids will catch it.  They will catch our words and our motives.  They will catch our disciplines or lack thereof.  They will catch the sin, passed down one generation to the next.  So what are we going to do?  Are we going to keep living a life of dishonesty in the name of self-preservation?  Are we going to ignore our sin and hope our kids will ignore it too?  Will we hide our idols under a blanket like Rachel?  So help me God!

*Come clean today. Not just for your sake, but for the generations to come!

The time clock conundrum

2 Kings 22:7  “But no accounting is to be required from them for the money put into their hands since they work with integrity.”

Some time ago, as I was preparing to move into full-time ministry, I had an ongoing battle with a time clock.  You see, I had been in management for a couple of years and no longer logged my time with the clock.  I was on salary, which meant that I worked more than 8 hours a day.  No need to clock in or out; just come early and stay late.  Then I decided I was done with that whole thing and returned to being an hourly employee.  It was a good season of my life as God was preparing me to be a pastor.  But I didn’t get along with the time clock very well.  Because after two years of showing up to work and heading straight to the office, I now had to stop by the break room and punch in.  And quite honestly, I forgot a lot.  So I would get these time edit slips constantly telling me I forgot to clock in.  And other times I would forget to clock out.  I worked my hours and I worked  hard, but logging them was something I had to relearn.

I like this passage in 2 Kings 22, because it says they didn’t have to use the time clock.  These guys were working hard at the temple and the king knew it.  So he told the payroll clerk to pay them and not worry about asking for their time cards.  He trusted them to do the job and do it well.  They didn’t try to show up to work late or leave early.  They didn’t take extra breaks or sit around visiting when they should have been working.  They weren’t taking excessive personal phone calls or texting all their friends.  (I guess that last one was technically impossible)

What kind of an employee are you? Are you someone who can be trusted to do the job with integrity?  As Christians we are called to set a standard.  It’s a standard like the one mentioned here in today’s scripture.  There should never be a gray area about the work that we do.  We should be honest with our time and our money.  Regardless of what everyone else around us is doing, we should be like those temple workers.  And it’s not because we might get in trouble if we don’t; it’s to honor the Lord.  Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”   Approach your life, your responsibilities, and your job with this attitude today.  For this is the kind of integrity that should be present in our lives.

Fooling Jesus

Luke 20:20 ​Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 

Here’s an idea: let’s trick Jesus.  Yeah, good luck with that.  I mean, what were they thinking?  Did they actually think they could trick Jesus?  What I love about this verse is the part where the spies were going to pretend to be honest.  Yes, “pretend” to be honest.  Their strategy?  Play stupid.  It turns out that’s exactly what they were if they thought they could fool Jesus.  He saw right through it, it says in verse 23.  Strikeout, gutter ball, air ball, epic fail.

So why do we think we can fool Jesus?  We pretend to be one way on the outside with hopes he won’t find out what’s inside.  We go through the motions at church without any intention of ever becoming it.  He knows, people, he knows.  He knows when you are sleeping, He knows when your awake, He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!  And unlike Santa, He’s the real deal!  He knows our hearts.  He knows when we are trying to hide.  He knows when we are faking it.

So let’s be real already.  Get real with Jesus.  Tell him your thoughts, your fears, your sins, your struggles.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking he won’t find out.  Don’t try to convince yourself that if he knew your sin, he wouldn’t love you.  He does know it and he chooses to accept you, love you, and forgive you.  In what areas of your life are you trying to fool Jesus?  Take a closer look and start being honest with both yourself and Him.