Are You Working an Angle?

Let’s start this week’s article with a question:  What happened to the genuine and sincere nature of people?  I wonder if these two traits are simply gone in our society, or are they frowned upon because we think it makes us look feeble?   Oh I know this is going to start some stuff, but it is for a good cause.  I will get to the cause in a minute.  Let us first focus on identifying the reasoning as to what happened to these once desired, once aspired, and once transpired character traits that seem to be lacking in our world today.

In our society today, almost everyone seems to be working some sort of angle.  What do I mean by this?  Everyone seems to have an agenda when it comes to giving something, doing something, being something, or simply loving or supporting something.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s run through some real life examples real quick.  We are currently in the midst of election season in our country.  Everybody running has their campaign ads up and running in full force.  Question: If you can, name one campaign that hasn’t used some sort of smear-tactic to try and discredit the other?  Why do they employ this tactic?  In order to try and capture your interest in their candidacy and secure your vote for their election into their perspective office(s).  Sounds like an angle to me.  Let’s look at marriages of today.  The amount of people that I hear getting married for financial benefit is overwhelming.  It’s not for love or their sense of being joined together with a person, rather it’s for security and surety that they are financially stable or secure.  Sounds like an angle to me.  What season is coming up?  You got it, the Christmas or Holiday Season.  Question:  How many of us give gifts out of a genuine desire to give to a person?  Or, do we give on the merit of what have you done for me or given to me lately?  Sounds like an angle to me.  Lastly, let’s go to the church.  Everyone once believed the church was where you go to experience the gathering of saints and presence of God.  Now, there is so much backbiting, power plays, and money hungriness in the church (not all but a lot of them).  Why?  Everybody is trying to secure a position, be apart of the transition, and/or establish their mission as a means of getting something they want.  Sounds like an angle to me.
I know that stings, but just keep pressing and reading and hopefully you will see the cause behind this article.  I am not trying to stir up animosity or anger in anyone or anything, but I’m simply pointing out that we have a serious problem on our hands.  I have asked God, why give me this to write about and why now?  He did not disappoint.  He answered by directing me to this scripture: 1 Timothy 1:3-7, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”  Paul had just given Timothy a commandment to stay where he was and continue informing the false teachers of their wrongful teaching and/or handling of sound doctrine to the saints.  Basically, the goal was to get them to cease and desist their fable teachings.  Furthermore, Paul continued by giving Timothy the ending of his commandment, which sounds more like a charge than a warning.  This is also where our focus is for this article.
Paul says, “…charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”  Unfeigned means to be sincere or genuine.  So, in other words Paul was saying to Timothy that in everything he does or gives it should be done from the position of it being sincere and genuine from the heart.  It shouldn’t be to try and force your way onto someone else.  It shouldn’t be to try and manipulate another into doing what you want them to do.  It shouldn’t be to try and entice support from people to further your malicious and deceptive agenda.  No!  It should be because you believe and know within your heart and without a shadow of doubt that it is the right thing to do.
Where has this mindset gone in our country?  Where has this mindset gone in our government?  Where has this mindset gone in our businesses?  Where has this mindset gone in our communities?  Where has this mindset gone in our churches?  Better yet, where has this mindset gone in our lives?  It’s like everyone is out to get each other, and we only care about ensuring we succeed and achieve our goals; even at the expense of stepping on, betraying, or  totally eliminating the competition.  Again, I’m asking God, “Why give me this to write about?  This doesn’t sound like it will go over to well with others.  As a matter of fact, I’m almost sure it will make me an enemy.”  However, I declared from day one that it is not mine will but thine will be done.  So, why does He want me to discuss this?    This ties in with the “why now” question that I asked.
He said, “There’s an abundance of people coming to me with a request for this or that and none of it serves a purpose for me.  It’s all for them and about them.  They try and trick themselves into believing that it is for my glory, but little do they know it’s only tricking and deceiving them.  They are asking for stuff to make them look a certain way, feel a certain way, be a certain way, or be apart of a certain status.  It’s all vanity and serves no substantial purpose except for gaining status or position.”  In other words, we have become so immune to our inability to be sincere or genuine to the point where we think we can get God involved in our deceptive and vain ways.  We think we can come to Him and get Him to take part in our do whatever, however, and whenever mentality.  However, God is not moved by any of this.   It is genuineness that moves Him to perform and perfect things on our behalf.  It is our sincere nature that enables us to be able to walk like our big brother and Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is this very nature that gives us the ability and capacity to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Sincere!  Genuine!  Words to meditate and marinate on as we progress throughout the week.  As I bring Part 1 of this article to a close, I have one question:  Are you sincere and genuine in your doing, giving, and living?  Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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