You Become What You Practice

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:1‭-‬4 ESV

One of the dangers of social media is that it turns the people who use it into public performers. It’s all for the views and likes. If you’re performing for an audience, you’re going to cater to what the audience prefers.

If you habitually practice sin, you’ll become a hardened sinner. People in the world identify themselves by their preferred way of sinning against God and themselves. You know what I mean? I don’t think I need to spell it out for you.

Conversely, if you practice righteousness from a pure and sincere heart, you will be sanctified. We’re not saved by our works. Our works are the fruit of what is in our hearts, just as our words reveal our hearts.

Sin is a slippery slope. Once you excuse one sin as justified given the circumstances, the door is open for the devil to come on in and take control. The devil is the ultimate legalist. He knows the Law and he uses it against us.

That’s why it’s of prime importance to know God’s Word intimately for yourself. You cannot rely on someone else’s revelation. It won’t save you and it very well might deceive you.

Get your own revelation. Find out the truth for yourself so that you won’t be deceived by false teachers and false prophets. They disguise themselves as sheep, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. They tell you what you want to hear and want you to be dedicated to them and not to God.

A true teacher of God’s Word wants people to follow Jesus. They seek to build people up in the faith and encourage them to become who God created them to be. They’re not looking to make clones of themselves, or lord their authority over others. They see each person as uniquely created and gifted by God to be an integral part of the interconnected Body of Christ.

Our Father in Heaven is the Master Gardener. He plants us, He waters us, He feeds us, He prunes us. Ultimately He will harvest us and burn up all the unfruitful weeds and barren trees. How we respond to His care determines our destiny.

Do we accept everything that passes through His hands for our lives with gratitude, knowing that He knows what we need better than we do? Do we believe that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose? Or do we place ourselves in the judgment seat and esteem our own opinions higher than God?

We become what we practice. Our habits become our lifestyle. Is our lifestyle sin or righteousness? Are our words blessing or cursing? Do we walk in love or bitterness? Do we humbly prefer others over ourselves or are we self-important narcissists? Are we slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness?

You’re going to be discipled by something. You’re going to learn continually from whatever you give your attention to. Are you a disciple of the world? Or a disciple of Jesus?

Separate yourselves from the ways of this world. The world is constantly screaming for your attention. There’s no lack of distractions to numb yourself from a meaningless existence. Be mindful of how you spend your days and what you think about. Give no foothold to the devil.

If you spend all your time listening to the world and studying its ways, you’ll become like the world. Before I came to faith, I was programmed to be a corporate citizen and faithful consumer of products and services. Do what you can to make the most money you can. Spend it all on your own pleasure and to manipulate others. Sound familiar? It is soul sucking.

Living for Jesus means turning your back on the world. It means accepting God’s Word as the final authority on all matters. It’s not popular. It’s not going to endear you to the establishment. But its fruit is eternal life.

If you let God lead you, you’ll be a vessel of His love and righteousness. Anchor yourself in Christ and nothing will move you off your firm foundation. There is no greater need today than for faithful people to walk in humble obedience to the Lord.

I think in terms of what’s best for everyone, not what’s best for me. What’s best for me is to do the Lord’s will. What’s best for everyone is that everyone do the Lord’s will. The best way to get there is for every disciple to make disciples. Do you practice disciplemaking? If so, you are a disciple. If not, you are a rebel leader.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:7‭-‬10 ESV

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