Welcome to part 4 of “Rules for God’s Daughters”! If you’re just joining us, this a 6-post series based on a “copy and share” Facebook post I read recently. You can read all about that, and see the full list in “Rules for God’s Daughters: Part 1“. To recap: This list really resonates with me as the mom of a young daughter – but it also set off some warning bells. The Bible says to “test everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), because one of the devil’s greatest weapons is subtle lies: things that look good or feel good but are just a little twisted from God’s truth.
From a worldly perspective, these are strong, moral pieces of advice and wisdom! However, we are called to a higher wisdom. So I challenge you again: “question everything” and hold it all up to the Bible – our only source of absolute Truth. Here are points 16-20!
16. If you can’t smile with your eyes, don’t smile. Insincerity is nothing to aspire to.
Great advice! It’s along the lines of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”! Loving God is so much about loving his people – all people – with genuine love. Not fluffy, fake love. But real love, love that hurts when other hurt and rejoices when they rejoice, love that speaks the truth in kindness, never condemnation. So smile with your eyes – but also smile with your heart. Aspire to love!
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
~ 1 Peter 1:22
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.
~ 2 Corinthians 1:12
17. Never lie to yourself.
God’s version: Never lie.
Lying is so much more than telling a fib or intentionally deceiving someone. Even a “white lie” can cause so much pain! I am not saying to share “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” in every single circumstance (because there’s a time to be silent!). However, honesty really is the best policy. Honesty with love (see above!). God says he hates lies!
You shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.
~ Leviticus 19:11b
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
~ Proverbs 12:19,22
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
~ Proverbs 6:16-19
And don’t deceive yourself. Get rid of the lies in your head! I’m so ugly. I’m stupid. I will never be good enough. I always fail. She thinks I’m annoying. He doesn’t love me. Or: Did God really say this is wrong? These are the lies of Satan. He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44)! His goal is to turn humankind from God. So if he can get you to believe the lies – he’s won. While he can’t steal your salvation, he can sure steal your light. Replace the lies with the truth!
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
~ John 8:32
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
~ Romans 12:2
18. Your body, your rules.
God’s version: Your body, his temple, his rules.
Listen, sweet friends: your body belongs first to God. He created it. If you are a not a believer, I understand that you do not subscribe to this standard – and I’m not trying to force it on you. But believers: your body is not only your own. You are it’s caretaker, but it is the temple of your Creator – treat it with reverence, as a holy place.
Take care of your body. Eat right. Get moving. Drink water! (Speaker and author Heidi St. John has Siri remind her to drink water throughout the day! Blogger Crystal Paine drinks a gallon a day!) Don’t defile your body with harmful drugs and excess alcohol. And don’t use your body for sexual immorality, because our bodies belong to God first and then to our spouses: no other.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
~ 1 Corinthians 7:4
19. If you have an opinion, you better know why.
God’s version: If you have an opinion, you’d better know why, and you’d better make sure it agrees with my Word.
Know why you believe what you believe! Also, know the Scriptures.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
Most of the Church today is Biblically illiterate. We go to church and listen to Christian leaders. Or we read blogs and Christian books. But we don’t read the Word for ourselves. So without the filter of God’s wisdom to give us discernment, we are easily led astray. I am disheartened daily (it seems) by those claiming the name of Christ who preach a gospel of their own – and it does not agree with the gospel of Christ. My friends, you MUST know the Word.
Try the First Five app (https://first5.org/). Get a good study Bible. Use a study plan from an online Bible or app like YouVersion (https://www.youversion.com/) or Olive Tree (https://www.olivetree.com/). My new favorite tool? I am so, so in love with this one: Scripture Writing. There are many (Google it!).
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
~ 1 John 4:1
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
~ 2 Corinthians 13:5
But test everything; hold fast what is good.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21
20. Study your curiosities and practice your passions.
God’s version: Study my Word and practice my precepts.
I’m an information girl, so I have more books than I can read in a year (or more)! I have browser bookmarks, a long list in Pocket, saved studies and eCourses, and more. And I love to do what I love. I have more passions than time! I want to read, color, scrapbook, listen to music, play games, watch movies, and garden all at once!
My point is that studying your curiosities and practicing your passions is wonderful – if it lines up with God’s Word. We have a sin nature; consequently our human passions can so easily lead us wrong. But by studying the Word (see #19!) we can know God’s ways and his passions! And we have complete freedom to practice ours when they line up with his. And friends, he gives us our passions! I don’t really think there are any wrong passions – just passions used wrongly. Even the ugliest “passion” is a twisted misuse of a God-gift. That’s what sin is – missing God’s mark, twisting his intent.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
~ Psalm 37:4
May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
~ Psalm 20:4
Another five down, and eleven to go! Join me next week for more.
What do you think? Leave a comment below! (Remember, be kind. It’s okay to disagree, but do it with grace. Ugly or malicious comments will not be posted.)