Friday, January 31, 2014
No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. John 5:44 (NLT)
Calvin, the obnoxious five year-old, who often pontificates his thoughts on life and the universe to his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, is a monumentally-self absorbed narcissist. The world, according to Calvin, does not revolve around the sun; the world revolves around Calvin!
Calvin has some company in this world. Even in the church pulpit (and pew).The context of Jesus’ statement about the inability to believe, is when the religious
leaders were seeking a way to kill him. They rejected Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. They didn’t believe in him, so, essentially they rejected God. Unbelief!
Jesus told the religious leaders their main problem was their position. Not that being a leader was (or is) wrong; organizations, even religious ones, need leaders to help keep focus on the group’s purpose. In this case, the religious leaders’ main focus was to help people have faith in God and serve God’s greater Kingdom purposes.
But these leaders were self-centered, pride-filled, and it blocked their view of God. They loved the admiration and respect their office commanded; it gave them a sense of power over the followers. They loved the honor and preeminence their position gave in the community, but they missed the point entirely, that such pride was eating their ability to worship like cancer of the soul.
I call it “ministerial discount”.
I’ve been offered everything from clothing at 40% off, to free rounds of golf, just because it was known I’m a minister. When I was new to the ministry I suspected at first that there was something not quite right about trading on ministerial credentials. But, needing clothes, and liking golf, I gratefully accepted.
I still like golf. I began despising dress clothes when I retired.
But, I stopped (a long time ago) letting merchants know I’m a minister, until after the purchase is completed. If God is my priority, keeping him clearly in view cannot be bought for the price of a three piece suit.
You and I, Calvin, were not put on this planet to be serene as we accumulate material things, accolades of others, or have everything done for us!
Man’s chief end and work is to love God and enjoy Him forever. That’s hard to do when you’re hunting praise from people.
Is there anything blocking your faith, your view and desire for God?
Now would be a good time to deal with that!