While spell-check in texting is helpful most times, there are moments when the assistance offered completely alters the intent of the message. Such is the case when in recent dialogue about my blog, I received this statement: "I took the time to read your latest bluff."
If you knew the person who sent the text, it would have been easy to categorize the comment as a humorous "zinger" between old friends. However, that sentence was in deep contrast to the tone of the rest of our conversation. So, it was clear that auto-correct changed "blog" to "bluff."
While it would have been easy to just move on from that experience, I sensed the Holy Spirit inviting me to linger in reflection on the phrase, "Your latest bluff." As I have done so, God gently repurposed that digital spell-check into a spiritual heart-check. More accurately, into an integrity-check. This examination was initiated with a premise and a question. If bluffing is an attempt to create a particular impression that is advantageous, am I bluffing in my blogging? Just how vulnerable am I to "crafting" social media posts?
If the answers trigger any "ouch" in your heart, let me share a beautiful invitation from God found in I Kings 14.
When Jeroboam's wife came to the Prophet Ahijah, she was bluffing. Forced by her husband to dress in disguise, she "pretended to be someone else" attempting to learn the fate of her sick child. Out of God's kindness, He gave the visually-challenged Ahijah a heads up that this deception was going to take place. As the story unfolds, there doesn't seem to be a lot of mercy granted to Jeroboam's wife. Take a moment and read verses 1-18. Now this time, read it again, but from the perspective of the one who is bluffing.
Did you see it? Ahijah could have let her go through with the farce. He could have allowed her to humiliate herself further as she scrambled to fabricate a believable storyline. He could have mocked her.
He could have. But he didn't. Instead, as soon as "Ahijah heard her footsteps at the door, he called out, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else?” Yes, it is just a tiny glimpse, but do you see the mercy he extended? He spoke her true identity and invited her in. Even before she knocked, he spared her from the embarrassment of further deception.
That little gesture speaks deeply to me. It speaks of a winsomely Divine, Love-filled invitation to all who are bluffing.
Perhaps you are the one whose "footsteps are at the door" or whose "fingers are on the keyboard ready to hit 'share'." Would you hear God calling out your true identity and would you receive the Spirit-given invitation and enter into a deeper place of intimacy with Jesus?
"Come in, precious one. You don't have to 'pretend to be someone else' to earn the approval of others. You don't have to become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Child, hear Me, you don't have to bluff anyone, anymore.
Why? Because your truest identity is found in Me. You are secure in My unshakable, unwavering, unquestionable, and unmitigated Love for you. And you know what, precious one? There is nothing you can do or say that would make Me love you more. And, get this, there is nothing you can do or say that would make Me love you less. I love you, because of Who I AM.
Beloved, fix your attention on Me. Bring Me your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before Me as an offering.
Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life." [Based on Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 11:28-30 MSG].
Let's watch and see what God will do.
Ready for more? Check out 31 Days of Encouragement: devotionals strategically designed to inspire and to encourage. Visit https://squareup.com/market/jonathancdow.