Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Eyes Not Lies

I'm not sure I've ever heard any Christian preacher say it, but looking back, I've found myself in the bizarre place where I feel I need to lie to cover up good deeds so as to avoid falling into the sin of pride. It stems from (among other things) a misapplication of these words of Jesus.

The theory goes (in my head it worked) that if others find out about some good thing I've done, God will vindictively remove all heavenly reward that would have otherwise come my way for the deed in question. This then leads me into a loony declaration of all kinds of half truths and/or outright lies in a misplaced effort to guard my heavenly treasure.

I have come to realise this is dumb and ridiculous because:
  1. It flatly contradicts Jesus' other words that he spoke only a few minutes earlier.
  2. It leads me into sin, a guilty conscience and split personality thinking, because it justifies the use of lying and propagates that age old religious myth of sin points. You know, the one that says it's ok to commit a small sin (lying) in order to avoid either committing a bigger one (pride) or to avoid compromising the value of your New Creation Real Estate in the world to come!
However, when Jesus spoke those words, he was aiming at these kinds of people.

The question is not who sees you, but whose eyes are you craving? Are you craving the attention of your peer group, or the approval of your Heavenly Father? If it is the former, you have had your reward. What you wanted was the praise of men and you've got it. Well done you! You grow 10 feet tall when they compliment you, and look down your nose at others' shortcomings from your great spiritual height.

But if it is the latter, then like Jesus, you will simply go about your Heavenly Father's business. If people see, so be it, if they don't no problem.

For Jesus, his sole motivation was his love for his heavenly Father. For those who have come to abide in Christ and picked up their cross, the motivation is exactly the same and more.

So the next time someone asks you how much money you gave away or how long you are fasting for; feel free to tell them if you want or to say: "I'd rather keep that between me and God," but don't feel any obligation (like I did for a long time) to play it down and lie about it, for quite apart from anything else, we'll all eventually find out anyway.

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