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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Pious Peer Pressure.
I once walked out of a movie theatre because in the dialog the script writers, or possibly the ad-libbing actors, wove the name of my Lord into some string of profanity. Its echo was still ringing in the theatre and already I was on my feet and heading out the door.

How pious! Right?

Make no mistake, my soul was offended by the gratuitous use of my Lord's name - it wrenched my gut, but that isn't why I left. I left because I was with another believer, and my Christian reputation was at stake. Had I been alone, I hope that I would have left the theatre motivated solely by the love of my Lord and the desire to honor His name, but on that day I left because I was concerned about my image, about my testimony amongst the brethren.

Recall Peter at Antioch? He had the same problem. He was quite free with the Gentile believers right up until some judaizers showed up, then even the Apostle Peter started behaving in a way that padded his reputation - separating himself from the Gentiles so that, among other reasons, the judaizers would see his piety.

This sort of "for show" piety is poison stuff.

Not because our outward actions are wrong, and not because we are simply acting righteous instead of being righteous, but primarily because doing this will erode and supplant what we are supposed to be doing.

In my theatre example, both motives were there, but I acted primarily upon the wrong one, and in doing so I honored myself and not the Lord. It will happen, as trial and temptations befall you Christian, that you will be given an opportunity to bring God glory and honor - not by what you do, but by why you do it. Seldom (if at all) are you going to have a situation where there isn't mixed motives. Part of you will always want glory, even in what seems to be a pious act. When I walked out of the theatre that day so many years ago now, I was not strengthened to do it by the thought that I was honoring God, I was strengthened to do it because it honored my reputation to do so.

The key through this sort of thing is to find the Lord's glory in a trial or temptation - and walk that path, drawing strength from the glorifying of His name. That is, I think, the only way to come through some trial and feel real joy.

More on this some other time. I gotta catch a bus.
posted by Daniel @ 7:25 AM  
4 Comments:
  • At 11:04 AM, December 10, 2008, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Pure motives are so hard to come by.

     
  • At 1:38 PM, December 10, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Amen David.

     
  • At 12:05 PM, December 12, 2008, Blogger Rabbit said…

    Part of you will always want glory, even in what seems to be a pious act.

    Ouch.

     
  • At 12:35 PM, December 12, 2008, Blogger Bob said…

    Thanks, this was wonderfully helpful. I was recently challenged to explain my actions in a particular setting; your points would have nicely explained them, but the words didn't come. Perhaps I'll have another opportunity to tell others that anything I might do that is not motivated by a desire to make God's name great among the nations could be considered my righteousness - you know, "filthy rags"

    Thanks again.

     
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