Consider, once upon a time, there were two kings who ruled successively over the nation of Israel. The first king was guilty of what most would consider a couple of relatively minor infractions and misunderstandings between God and himself. The second king was guilty of gross sin, sins which even today would result in life imprisonment if not death. The second king also intentionally disobeyed God, but in addition he committed adultery, and murder. The first king lost his kingdom, his family and ultimately his life for his minor disobedience. The second king became known as the greatest king ever to rule Israel, and is called “a man after God’s own heart.” What was the difference? When the first King, named Saul, was confronted with his sin, he defended, justified and excused himself, while pointing his finger at others, and trying to cover up both the sin and its consequences. It was only when he was caught red-handed and pressured by the prophet Samuel, did Saul confess his sin. However, the true condition of Saul’s heart is revealed in his next words, “Please honor me…” meaning don’t embarrass me before the people. Saul was more concerned about preserving his reputation than he was about being right with God. His response to Samuel reveals a dark, proud, unbroken heart. On the other hand, when David was faced with his sin he willingly acknowledged his failure to both his leadership team and the people. David took personal responsibility for his wrongdoing. He blamed no one but himself. He immediately confessed, repented and soon afterward made what restitution he could for his sins. The roof came off as he repented to God, and the walls came down as he wrote two songs of contrition (Psalms 32 and 51). Broken people don’t care who finds out about their weaknesses or their sins. They have nothing to protect, nothing to lose.
Transparency is a core value of the OPEN Network. The leadership team believes God wants us as B4T workers, and as a network to remain transparent, humble, and broken before one another. We are not concerned about what one another’s errors are, or that they are big or little. The issue we are concerned about is whether our attitude and response when confronted with our errors is dark, prideful, and self-centered; OR transparent, humble, and God-centered. For David, being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) was not about actions, but attitude. Having a heart for God surely includes eloquent prayers, glorious worship, crying our eyes out over our sins; yet fundamentally it’s about our attitude before God and men. Our character is a magnifying glass for revealing the true issues inside us.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.
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