Yesterday, I participated in an online survey to rate 15 companies, including five airlines. To answer the questions accurately, one would be required to possess in-depth knowledge of their culture, values, target audience, social responsibility, and overall performance. Based on the questions, the objective was to identify consumer knowledge beyond a basic shopping or flying experience.
Following the completion of the first section, something unusual occurred; the next question focused on analyzing the individual completing the survey. Yes, with a deliberate twist, I became the subject of the study. The question: “Which statement do you agree with? Companies operate under the premise that people naturally have good intentions and can be trusted or given the opportunity people always look out for themselves and are not to be trusted?” What was my outlook and where did I stand in valuing others?
“Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, personality, and capabilities.” https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-psychological-assessment
Laughter was my initial response! With a nursing background in Behavioral Health, I interviewed patients and administered standardized psych tests. I have also been on the opposite side of the spectrum where psychological pre-screening tests were part of the hiring process. So, I felt confident in answering the question that people are basically good and can be trusted.
The survey was presented as a 30-minute survey that evolved into 90 minutes because each question had 6 possible answers with the instructions to choose all that apply. Focusing on the task of identifying the core values of each company was daunting in itself, so, the “how do you feel about people” question presented an element of surprise. The question, skillfully placed to determine the progression or disqualification of the participant from part one to part two of the study probed to reveal the person’s real character. It simply asked, “Where do you stand?”
Thought-provoking situations frequently arise that serve to reveal our morals, values, and our relationship with God. We do not see ourselves as God see’s us. Our mirror differs from God’s spiritual mirror. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:10. Unless we strive to live a righteous life, just like the participants who did not choose the first part of the analytical question for their answer, we can not move forward in our walk with God. Truthfully, where do we stand? It is the situations that arise from nowhere that challenge and reveal our core beliefs in God.
Our thoughts, actions, and character traits must align with God’s standards given in His Holy Word. We do not have the luxury of delving into the imaginary gray area that exists among unbelievers. Either we stand for good or evil, truth or error, love or hate, and serve God with our whole heart or live for ourselves. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
The Plan of Salvation is not complex. But, Righteousness by Faith requires walking on a narrow spiritual path. Are we going all the way? Is Eternal life our goal? Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people did not answer a word. 1 Kings 18:21
There is no pretense or silence with God. Our very thoughts reveal whether or not we are on God’s side. He is the one who knows our deepest secrets and desires. To prevent our denial, justification or rationalization of living in the gray area of indecision, God tells us, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon. Matthew 6:24.
Where do I stand? Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
When we acknowledged and accepted Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we agreed that there is only one way to serve God, His way. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8. In our clothing of humanity, we are drawn to options that cause us to fall many times into the pit of Sin, but like David, we can confess, “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. Psalm 51:4. God readily forgives, and He confirms his love for us: The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
It is not our purpose to become presumptuous and take the forgiveness of our sins or God’s loving-kindness for granted. We fall, we repent, and our hearts reach out to grasp the amazing grace and mercies that are extended to all sinners who are saved by grace. It is only through Jesus Christ that we are able to look into the spiritual mirror that will reflect where we truly stand.
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Bible Reading: Psalm 51
God, we thank you for your grace and mercies. We ask you to forgive us for our many sins and to create in us a clean heart. It is our desire to humbly serve and obey you. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for any purpose without the written permission of the author.