Exodus 23:1-33

Dual conviction today. Am I living an authentic life, or am I “going along” with the crowd? And am I “listening close” to what God says….and “doing all” that he says?

It’s so easy to morph into someone who fits whatever, whoever the situation calls for; laughing at the ungodly, watching the ungodly, appearing to approve of the ungodly. And I’m not referring to anything drastic. Sometimes it’s a joke that I would never laugh at – and certainly not tell – with different company. Sometimes it’s words…spoken in the presence of some, but not others. Sometimes it’s gossip that is shallow or hurtful…and certainly not for the purpose of problem solving or speaking God’s truth in love.

Exodus Twenty Three reminds me that there is a vast difference between showing kindness and acceptance for all people…and becoming like all people.

There’s an analogy for this…found in the produce aisle. Yes. Bananas and strawberries and watermelon. Produce – created by God – has perfect integrity. It’s authentic. When we peel a banana, we never wonder if there will be a banana inside. We know. When we cut a watermelon in half, we never wonder if we’ll find strawberries. We know that we’ll find red, juicy watermelon. No surprises.

Can my friends and family and coworkers expect the same from me? Am I the same on the inside – all the time – as I am on the outside? Do I have integrity? Am I authentic?

Dear Jesus, forgive me. And refine me. I’ve become a watered-down, in-authentic version of the person you created. Fill me with your authenticity and help me to listen to your voice. Help me to do all that you say…all that is good and godly. Send your angel ahead of me to guard me along the way and to bring me to the place you have prepared (vs.20). For it is the only place I desire. It is the only way I want to live.