Have you ever been in a place and automatically made assumptions as to the character of others based on how they looked? I hate to admit it, but I have. For instance, I took my daughter to a piercing studio because she wanted her cartilage pierced, and to be honest, I would rather go to a piercing studio than Claires to get piercings. It is just my personal preference. Well, while we were there a man came in that had piercings and tattoos. Honestly, I didn’t judge him at this point because I was in a piercing studio. However, the woman that was doing my daughter’s piercing knew him and, to make a long story short, they got to talking. She asked him what he had been doing that day.
How honest are we with ourselves when it comes to our thinking? How many of Satan’s lies, thought systems, and belief systems do we buy into?
Recently I have been going through a period of deep introspection. I have been doing an inventory of the foundational thoughts that have shaped my belief system, analyzing what they are based in. Are my beliefs based in truth or are they based in lies? I have been asking myself whether I take 100 percent responsibility for my thoughts and actions or not.
I was listening to the Bible, and something struck me as very interesting and inspiring. In Psalm 50, starting in verse 9, God points out that He has no need for meat sacrifices. In fact, everything is His already. However, what He really desires is that we offer to Him “the sacrifice of thanksgiving” (v. 14). Thanksgiving comes from the Hebrew word yadah and can mean “adoration, a choir of worshippers, confession, praise, thanks (-giving, offering)” (Strong’s Concordance).
At first, I asked myself, how is it a sacrifice to give God thanks? Well, the truth is, sometimes it isn’t easy.
This past July 4th weekend my wife and I travelled to spend time with family. I have a bit of a love/dislike (not hate) relationship with these visits. The reason is because my wife and I continue to follow the faith that we were raised in, while my siblings and their spouses have chosen another path. In fact, neither of my sibling’s mates was raised in the faith that all three of us grew up observing.
During these visits the conversation always seems to find its way to some variation of what is required for salvation, or in my words, what one must do to be saved and to make God happy, as opposed to what He finds acceptable.