False Hope

Lovingkindness and Truth
Your prophets have said so many foolish things, false to the core.
They did not save you from exile by pointing out your sins.
Instead, they painted false pictures filling you with false hope.
 Lamentations 2:14 NLT)
People sometimes try to help us and end up hurting us. Hope to be genuine is based on truth. False hope always disappoints us and destroys our faith.
Israel had rejected the word of the Lord from many prophets and had found themselves in exile.  When God is trying to give us a message, there always seems to be an alternative one.  We love to hear things that tickle our ears.  If we are not willing to listen to the good and bad about ourselves, we will never foster godly character.  It is not difficult to develop a following by just telling people what they want to hear. God is not a cosmic Santa Claus. Sometimes he says yes, at other times no, and often he says to wait.  
Are you only being told what you want to hear? Do I like to hear good things about myself?  Of course, I do, but it is not about what I want, but what I need.  I require encouragement and correction.  I only grow spiritually when I hear the good and the bad about myself.  Raising a child where you give only praise without correction, or vice versa will probably create a disobedient teen.  People creating word pictures in our minds that are not based on truth will only lead to false hope.  It will create short-term gain but long-term pain.
Jesus always ministered in that delicate balance between lovingkindness and truth, affirmation and correction.  Are you being told what you need or want to hear? The latter message only disappoints and defeats our faith.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing

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