Lent Reflection 2014

12 Mar

Lent this year for me is a call to self-examination and reevaluation of my relationship with God. Today I tried the DIVE method (Jenifer Jernigan – Define, Investigate, Visualize, Embrace – From “Diving Deeper Ministries”)

Proverbs 11:3 NASB says “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his way will be found out.” Or NIV says “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” ESV says it like this: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” ERV: “Good people are guided by their honesty, but crooks who lie and cheat will ruin themselves.”
Cross Ref: Proverbs 10:9, Psalm 15. (only 5 verses) The one word focus – Integrity.

Define:
Complete moral innocence, being real, being sincere, wholeness, authentic, complete unity, soundness – no division, no compartmentalization, no posing, no being a chameleon, no being a people pleaser.

Investigate: Reasons why it is worth it to strive to have integrity: (partial revisit & adaptation from my notes of an old Chip Ingram podcast)
1. Relationship with God is impossible without it. I cannot have a relationship with God until I am honest with Him. There is no conning God. He will meet me right where I am – warts, discouragement & all. (X-Ref – Ps 145:18, I John 1:9, Hebrews 7:25) Do not pose to be more ___ than I am. When I sin, I want to immediately confess and restore relationship with God. God accepts the humble in heart – He loves those who know we can’t do life on our own.
2. Not possible to have healthy relationship within yourself. I’ve been working on this one for a while. (Ps. 51, Ps 139) Taking a turn away from what I know is right brings me pain. Even when the thought is “no one knows – fact is *I* know. It is not hidden; there is no conning God. I’ve heard it said that dishonesty with self is the core cause of self-hatred, lack of peace, denial, & strife within one’s self. Peer into avoidance behaviors: noise, food, company, distractions, restlessness, inability to “Be still”. Internal turmoil and dissonance from lacking integrity between the person I want others to think I am versus who I currently am, who I want to be within my true inner self & heart knowledge of who I really am now. Ps. 46: 10, Romans 12: 3-6 – Take an honest self assessment: I’m not perfect, I’m making progress. I am accepted and beloved in Christ. Yes, I’m going to mess up from time to time. More often than I want. But no, I don’t want to live life with that mess on my heart. (refer back to #1) I’m working to align what are untrue thoughts with God’s truth about me. I’ve started a true/false list to help me believe how God sees me. (Good and bad)
3. Impossible to have good relationships with others. I cannot be honest with others until I am honest with God and with myself. It requires humility and a self-image true to God’s image of me. (Ref: Eph 4:15) Relationships that give me the greatest satisfaction are those which are based in honesty and based in speaking the truth in love; both of which lead to trust.

Visualize: On a consistent basis my life and my words need to say the same thing. Not perfectly, but consistently. I give my word and I keep it. I do not hide my faults. I am quick to forgive. I am quick to ask forgiveness. I want to see myself and more importantly, see others, as God sees. No minimizing the positive for me, I want to seek God’s truth. “Integrity is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, how you live are all in alignment.” Source unknown – but that is where I am aiming this lent.

Embrace:
Lord, Move me out of the place of guilt and performance based acceptance and into a place of the truth of your acceptance and love. Lead me into a true self-image in you. Not thinking too highly of myself, or too lowly. Maybe not thinking of myself at all, but of others first. Help me today to be your love in the place you have provided for me today.Don'tBeHardonYourself

Martha L Shaw - Poet, Writer, Artist

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