Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Impressed By Our Own Obedience

Seems like I've run into a lot of people lately who are announcing to others how they serve God, supposing to encourage others to do the same. 

What has happened, however, is that these people are being filled with pride about their own ministry and judging others for not doing the same.  In some cases, other people are in fact active in ministry--just doing so in a quiet way that these people are not aware. 

This reminds me of two things that Jesus talked about:

The first is Jesus' description of the Pharisees about how they pray and give in public for everyone to see.  He said they have received their reward in full.  They are implicated for not doing it out of love for God and people so much as for impressing the masses and gaining more respect.  It is problematic when we do good things to impress other people.  It's often hidden behind wanting to be a "good example."  If you want to be a good example--be one and let others point to you; don't point yourself out to others.

The second is the story of the two men who went to pray at the temple, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee thanked God for how good he was and that he wasn't like the tax collector.  He listed off all the ways he was serving and obeying God.  The tax collector beat his chest and said, "God have mercy on me for I am a sinner."  The latter is the attitude that God wants. 

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