Esse Quam Videri…To Be, Rather Than to Seem (to Be)

A state enjoyable to me is the State of North Carolina (NC).  From a topography standpoint, it has a bit of everything…picturesque mountain landscapes, the piedmont area which produces an abundance of crops and wonderful universities, the coastal plains and beautiful ocean front properties on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  Furthermore, North Carolina has one of the best State Motto’s if not the best of the 50 states.  The motto is three Latin words esse quam videri which is a phrase meaning “To be, rather than to seem (to be)”.  What a dynamic phrase!  NC is neither interested in posers nor hypocrites who say one thing and mean another or whose life is an outward act that is nothing like their hidden character.  This state is looking for solid people who have strong character and do what they say they will do.  They want down-to-earth, roll-up-your-sleeves hardworking folks…Esse quam videri!

The NC State motto is very consistent with scripture.  Jesus introduces His Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) with 8 “To be’s” not “seem to be’s” called the Beatitudes …no posing nor hypocrisy…not counterfeit but the real thing.

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the [a]earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
  • 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Satan came on the scene as a poser with his greatest tactic being deception making things look much better than what they are.  Once a person acts on these lies, they recognize that there is no truth whatsoever resulting over and over again in emptiness and pain with worthless fool’s gold being the reward.  The Bible declares very clearly his views of the devil and the ones of us who fall for his lies in John 8:44, 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”  The devil’s intent is succinctly articulated by Jesus again in John 10:10, “He came to steal, kill and destroy.”  He makes things “seemingly” pretty and so appetizing, yet we continuously discover ugliness. 

Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  There is no doubt about it.  He is the great “I am.”  Please lay aside the lies of the devil and embrace Christ… Esse quam videri!

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