So...as I was doing some praying and pondering about the "On Fire" gals today, it was interesting where the Spirit led me: to the subject that is perfectly encompassed in this title: "In the New Year, Be Honest with Yourself".
Yeah. I know.
It's almost (can you believe it?!?) February and so yes, I'm pretty sure that the title of the article is a dead giveaway that it was published a little while ago. 12/30/11, to be exact. But for whatever reason, it's *now* that it seems to be a priority. At least in this public forum. Hmm...now that I think about it, it does make sense. We know that next month brings about a certain holiday that some women try to act like they don't care about, but secretly do.
Maybe a bit of honestly can start there, eh?
So anyway, after reading the piece, I saw this part that I really want to encourage as many as possible to take part in. As soon as possible too:
If you find yourself making connections between something that happened today and something in the past, all the better. Most of us are creatures of habit. Our objective is to find and reinforce those habits that enrich our well-being and find and eventually put aside those that are not in alignment with who we really are.
Some possible questions:
• What did I do that made me happiest?
• Where did I feel ashamed of myself?
• What action would I do over again and how?
• What moved me to act the way I did?
• What habits or tendencies worked for or against me?
• When did I feel most in alignment with what is best in me?
Try this simple form of self-reflection tonight. And you will be practicing the art of confession, confession in its purest sense: self-confession. Just zero in on one thing that showed you at your best and resolve to be that person tomorrow. Think about one thing that you didn't like about yourself and try not to repeat it.
See how the next day goes. I think you'll find yourself stopping short of doing those things your reflection showed aren't good for you or for your relationships with others. You'll find yourself smiling as you speak and acting in your best interests — in the best interests of the person you really know yourself to be.
I really dig those questions because it's amazing how many of us want an honest relationship with someone else when we're not being *fully truthful* about who, where and why we are...not just when it comes to desiring certain things but being certain kinds of people. And so, if you get a chance tonight, tomorrow, or over the weekend, break out a journal and do some penning on those questions, with a twist: answer them *solely as they relate to your relational experiences with men*.
*What did you do in your *healthiest* relationship that made you the happiest?
*What did you do in your *most dysfunctional relationship* that made you feel ashamed of yourself?
*What action, in a relationship, would you do over again? Why and how?
*What habits or tendencies work for you in relationships? Which ones work against you?
*Which relationship did you have where you felt like you were in alignment with the best in you? How do you know that to be true? What efforts are you putting in place to be realigned in that way?
Why do I ask? Because here's the deal: I think if you do some *real soul searching* on those questions, you just may discover that if you're bound, either to certain people, certain habits or certain cycles, it's all because honesty, *internal honesty*...somewhere...is amiss. Because when you're in an honest (and open-Psalm 119:18-NCV) relationship (first with yourself), when you live in *real truth*, according to the Word, which is God (John 1:1), there is freedom (John 8:32). Therefore, if you're not feeling free to love, free to see, free to be you, *totally*, then there's a good chance that you're attracting the kind of individual who is *just as compromised as you are*. An honest love is a reflection of two honest people and in honesty, there is (preach!) "honorable principles, intentions, and actions", there is "uprightness and fairness", there is "sincerity and frankness", there is "genuine and unadulterated" words and deeds exchanged. And when that's the case, it opens up doors for the synonyms of the word: "opportunity", "power", "privilege", "sovereignty" and "God-given rights".
HONESTY MANIFESTS GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS. Like a real and loving relationship.
Whew! No wonder the Word tells us things like:
"My hope is in you, so may goodness and honesty guard me."---Psalm 25:21(NCV)
"Good people will be guided by honesty; dishonesty will destroy those who are not trustworthy."---Proverbs 11:3(NCV)
"In every way be an example of doing good deeds. When you teach, do it with honesty and seriousness."---Titus 2:7(NCV)
Honesty guides. Dishonesty destroys.
So...when it comes to you and your quest for covenant, are you feeling a little lost? *Honestly?*
Ladies, my prayer, for us all, is that we'll make *freedom* and *honorableness* (nobility, CREDIBILITY, justness) and *guidance* greater priorities. In loving God, in loving ourselves...*in preparation for loving our future Beloved*.
After all, truth resonates truth. Be it and you'll get it. Omit it and...*exactly*.
I'll be believing Adonai for your deliverance in this area. I really will. And as I've been quoting *for months now*, hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).