The sermon I heard today about how it's important to remember that when we fail to live a servant life as Christ did, or do it so others would admire us, people will see through us as Christians and judge Christ. We will make Christ look bad because people will see him through us.
Wow! Did that convict me.
I immediately began soul-searching, asking myself if all I believe I'm doing to obediently serve God and serve others is a manifestation of my pride, wanting others to look at me and admire me as a model Christian.
A couple thoughts:
First, even though this soul-searching began in response to a message from the pulpit regarding living a servant life for all the right reasons, I briefly thought if this could this be Satan tempting me to second guess myself, to question what I have believed God has been telling me to do.
Second, I recalled all the abilities, experiences, and gifts God has given me to be able to serve him and his people, and by doing so, accomplish what he wants done and to reflect his love. I concluded this is where my focus should be, submitting myself to God's wishes, and relying upon the Holy Spirit for discernment and for confirmation.
In all I do, in every aspect of my life, I should be like John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul in my own little and unworthy way, pointing beyond myself to a loving God, a Christ who went to the Cross for me and all whom he wants me to serve.
I pray that when others see through me, I will not be making Christ look bad.
In God's Words
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves," (Philippians 2:3)
"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)
In Words of Others
"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." Thomas Merton
“Christlikeness is not produced by imitation, but by inhabitation.” Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life
"God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with."