Matthew 22:15-22 NIV: 15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So, they left him and went away. Reading this verse, I see a couple of things. Today, let's address another of them in verse 16 again. The Pharisees' disciples called Jesus "Teacher" and gave us yet another characteristic ..."we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth." This is hilarious to me. Not because its false, but just the opposite. Here they are trying to trap Him yet they have to call it like they see it. Jesus is the Teacher with integrity that teaches about God with the truth. Isn't it amazing that those that want to destroy you know whom you are? Years ago, at a place of employment, I was told that I see things through a filter and that she or no one else used my filter. The speaker went on to say that my filter was dirty. As I sat in her office listening, I was laughing up a storm on the inside. She was right, in part. I do see life through a filter that she didn't have. Yet, my filter wasn't dirty or unavailable to her. I see life based on this amazing journey God has me on. The ups and downs, the hills and valleys all contribute to the path that I walk. I'm amazed daily at where God has brought me from and I continually seek where He is taking me to. Sometimes we allow the words of others to change how we see ourselves. This most often happens when we hear the truth in their words. Here's the thing. I can be stubborn. My mom can testify to that. But, that same stubbornness keeps me on this path. It won't allow me to quit, to throw in the towel. That stubbornness makes me throw up my hands and give it up to God for He knows the way. When I committed to following Him, I committed to giving Him control of my life. My stubbornness is one of the things I love about myself now. It was the reason I came out of the corner swinging when the adversary thought he had me beaten. It was the foretelling in the Word - No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). Does that mean that I don't listen to the advice of others? No. But it does mean that while I hear them, I wait on Jesus to confirm His way for me for He is the light (John 9:5). Don't let the assessment of others deter your path even when they attempt to use your character against you. Be A Blessing & Not Just Blessed.
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