Character: Awareness and Honesty
The Five Life Lessons and Practical Applications of Hosea
And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people'; and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"
I think we have learned and understand that God's love not only comforts and secures us, but that His love also leads Him to discipline and correct us when we are unfaithful or disengaged. I am pretty sure that none of us actually start out each day with our desired outcome being unfaithfulness and disengagement - but by days end, we often times get there. Sometimes it is because we are not completely honest with ourselves about the events, circumstances and influences of the day, other times because we are simply not being aware that our day and our character are slipping away from us and God. But mostly it is both - awareness and honesty. The bible is clear that our character is the vehicle God values and chooses to navigate all of that in us.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Honesty is the part of our character that maintains with various levels of integrity regarding who we are and how we are living, and must be valued and used as our day to day, moment by moment compass. First we must be honest with God, second we must be honest with ourselves, and thirdly we must be honest with the people we love. Honesty is that character virtue that keeps us from being delusional (contradiction) about living and loving.
Awareness is the activator of our character, leading us to be attentive, sensitive and responsive to the events, circumstances and influences of our day to day living. In spiritual reality, awareness is the Holy Spirit (God's presence) at work in us each moment making us fully aware of those things that are good and those things that are bad. Once we are aware, it is the honesty within our character that requires or leads us to a righteous response. Awareness is that character virtue that keeps us from living and loving in a life that is an illusion (deceptive). Sounds complicated - but in all honesty, now that we are aware - it's really not.
Like Hosea, God often reveals himself to us in terms of our family relationships. The lesson we have learned from Hosea is that he indeed was a man of character - he was uniquely both aware and honest. Because he was aware and honest God used him to love his family not only in comfort and security, but in correction. Both his wife and Israel were disengaged from their roles and responsibilities, leading daily lives unaware and dishonest with God, themselves, and certainly with others. There is nothing that requires more character from us than our family - both biological and spiritual. Within our family it is absolutely essential for us to live moment to moment and day to day aware of and honest about life's events, circumstances and influences on not only ourselves but on those we love. We cannot become disengaged and dishonest - lives depend on us developing and maintaining the character of God to win the day!