I hope the AUDIENCE OF ONE video has been helpful to you. I have been thinking about how to approach this blog on PRIDE for a few days and as usual nothing really specific came to me until my hands hit the keyboard. What amazing GRACE!
So here is the question I am to pose to you (I’m still listening for the answer as I type GEEZ!). Why did Jesus deal with PRIDE in the context of our spiritual life and activity? In other words how we give, how we pray, how we engage in disciplines of abstinence. Why did He not talk about how we deal with our resources, intellect, achievements, etc. in terms of pride?
Jesus focuses on these actions in relation to pride and vanity for when done in true humility as default positions we truly build an eternal kind of life and purpose within us. When we do them in a spirit of pride that movement towards Christlikeness and a eternal purpose is diminished if not destroyed. On the other hand boasting or not boasting about our wealth, intellect and achievement are things of this world and the flesh with no eternal purpose no matter how we respond to them. They are attributes we can only use until we assume room temperature and then they are meaningless. Like you can’t take them with you. I believe clearly Jesus want us to deal humbly with them as well as Proverbs 3:34 and James 4:6 says. But the things that have value for eternity, how we give, how we pray, how we abstain, He bores down on and unpacks them on the mountain where He has everyone’s full attention. He in no way wants us to diminish the impact these activities will have on our formation to be more like Him. Conversely no amount of money, intellect or achievement can make us more like Him. He knows when the money, intellect and achievement is stripped away all that we will have left to be seen by Him is our spiritual activities within our spiritual life. In other words what was going on INSIDE when we gave, when we prayed, when we fasted? All issues of our HEART! Why did we give, Why did we pray, Why did we abstain? Did we engage to be more like HIM translating those actions into unconditional acts of LOVE for Him and others or did we engage to be acknowledged and praised by others in our church, small group, etc.
It is incredible to me how Jesus never messed around with the small, temporary and shallow stuff but always went for the MIND, HEART and SOUL of the matter knowing they are the vehicles of our transformation and we best not do them in a casual fleshly way that would diminish their transformational power.
So when we give, we pray, we abstain I pray that we are setting our minds and hearts on things above engaging not the masses for approval but solely for our AUDIENCE OF ONE.