Representing God in your heart
Sometimes the most religious can misrepresent God the most, and the least religious can misrepresent God the least.
I have at times acted out of a sense of religious duty, not because I wanted to, but because I thought God would judge and condemn me if I didn't.
I have at times acted like I was "good", and "perfect" etc while my motivation for being "good," and "perfect", etc was not to be "good and perfect", rather it was to be seen as being "good and perfect". This is what God calls being a hypocrite
God wants to help you represent Him not out of a sense of duty, but because you actually want to.
If you claim to be someone who represents God, yet on the other hand you misrepresent God in your heart, you misrepresent God more than if you did not claim to represent God.
If you have hurt yourself by wanting what you do not need to want, God does not want to condemn you. He wants to help you turn back to wanting nothing more than Him and in turn others of you, just as He wants nothing more than you and in turn others of you.
1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
Jeremiah 2:25 Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’
God wants to help you no longer hurt yourself.
Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
God wants to help you know Him in your heart. When you know Him in your heart, you will be a lot more able to represent Him in your heart.
1 Samuel 2:35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.
Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Gods heart has only ever wanted you for no other reason than you are the only thing He has ever wanted. He has never wanted you out of some sort of sense of "religious duty."
He wants to help you represent Him, not because you have to, but because you want to. Representing God out of some sort of sense of religious duty misrepresents God in your heart.
It is my belief that representing God helps people know God better than just talking about God. So if you are struggling representing God in your heart attitude(s) etc, the best way to help you might be to do nothing other than represent God's heart to you.
1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Acts 2:46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
Acts 8:21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.
Acts 11:23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.
2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Ephesians 6:6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.