‘That’s Not Who I Am!’

There is a phrase bandied about when a person is caught in a public display of inappropriate behavior. It is no longer uncommon to hear a person say, “That’s not who I am,” right after they have robbed, lied, cheated, or stolen—and had been caught. This obvious disconnect between rhetoric and reality is rooted in the fact that being honest is not easy. The pattern was established in the Garden of Eden.

When Adam was confronted with his sin, he blamed Eve. When Eve was confronted with her transgression, she blamed the serpent. As descendants of Adam and Eve, individuals find it difficult to acknowledge who they really are, a sinner in need of a Savior, forgiveness, and redemption. The Bible notes that, “Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Prov. 20:6).

For those individuals who still believe they are intrinsically good, here is a simple test to take in just one area of life, faithfulness. In judgment day honest, respond to the following questions, and then, find hope by being born again. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Heartwork: Am I a Faithful Person?

Faithfulness: Steadfast, dedicated, dependable, and worthy of trust. In the Old Testament, the term is derived from the Hebrew root (‘aman) having the basic meaning “to trust (a person),” or “to believe (a statement).” This is the same root that gives us the word “amen.” The derived meaning is that the one so described is trustworthy, dependable, trusting, or loyal (Holman Bible Dictionary). In the New Testament, the adjective “faithful” is derived from the Greek noun (pistos) meaning “faith.” The fundamental meaning is that a person is trustworthy and loyal.

(Answer “true” or “false” to each of the following statements)

  • I have been faithful to my Christian faith.
  • I have been sexually faithful to my spouse.
  • I have been mentally faithful to my spouse.
  • I have been faithful to God.
  • I have been faithful to my work.
  • I am supportive of others.
  • I confirm others in their efforts, and their attempts to do something.
  • Like a foster parent (father, mother), or nurse, I nourish others.
  • I encourage others.                                                                                   
  • I am a pillar on which others can rely.                                                     
  • I am established in my core convictions.                                                 
  • I carry others who need help.                                                                  
  • I make firm that which is questionable.                                                   
  • I am reliable.                                                                                            
  • I can be trusted.                                                                                       
  • I stand steadfast in the hour of temptation and testing.                          
  • I make things certain.                                                                               
  • I can be believed.                                                                                     
  • I am trustworthy.                                                                                     
  • I am loyal.                                                                                                
  • I have fidelity toward all others, and God.                                             
  • A faithful person is an honorable person. I am honorable.
  • A faithful person fears God. I am a God-fearing person.
  • I can be trusted with treasures given to me for distribution.    
  • The eyes of the Lord are upon the faithful. His eyes are on me.     
  • A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter. I conceal the indiscretions of others.                      
  • A faithful witness will not lie. I never lie.                                              
  • A faithful person will not proclaim his own goodness, but I do.                        
  • A faithful person is an honest person about specific sin. I am honest about my sins.                                                                               

In the book of Acts the story is told of a young man named John Mark who proved to be unfaithful to Paul during a missionary journey.

“Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem” (Acts 13:13).

The unfaithfulness of John Mark caused division between Paul and Barnabas because Paul no longer trusted him, and did not want his company on another missionary trip.

“And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God” (Acts 15:36-40).

A person who has been proven to be untrustworthy, such as John Mark, might yet become a proven faithful person based upon repentance, renewing of the mind, and resisting new temptations.

An unfaithful person can acknowledge, and repent of their past unfaithfulness. Confession is good for the soul. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:31, 32).

An unfaithful person can renew their mind on this matter, and recommit to being a faithful person.

An unfaithful person can resistance new temptation and prove themselves to be faithful.

The repentance, recommitment, and renewed faithfulness of John Mark is suggested by the words of Paul while he was in prison. Writing to Timothy, Paul said, “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11).

Have you been unfaithful to God, to yourself, or to someone in life? Would you like to be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? It is possible. What God has done for others; He will do for you. But you must never again say, “This is not who I am.” Never call right that which is wrong. But then, never lose hope either in the power of redemption.

The chimes of time ring out the news
Another day is through
Someone slipped and fell
Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength
Your courage to renew
Do not be disheartened
For I have news for you

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

There is no night, for in His light
You never walk alone
Always feel at home
Wherever you may go

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side
Take Him at His promise
Don’t run away and hide

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do”

—Stuart Hamblen

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