What is Truth?

The noonday devil of the Christian life is the temptation to lose the inner self while preserving the shell of edifying behaviour. Suddenly I discover that I am ministering to AIDs victims to enhance my resumé. I find I renounced ice cream for Lent to lose five excess pounds. I drop hints about the absolute priority of meditation and contemplation to create the impression that I am a man of prayer. At some unremembered moment I have lost the connection between internal purity of heart and external works of piety. 

~ from The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

Ouch. Yes, I have to constantly be on my guard against the deceit of pride and/or shame. In truth, I lose my temper – though thankfully not as frequently nowadays, I think bad thoughts, I say things I shouldn’t say, I do things or don’t do things that I know I should or shouldn’t do. I am very, very flawed. I am not going to list all my sins here for public consumption. They are all, I hope, acknowledged and brought before Jesus. Forgiveness is the most wonderful gift. It means we can start every day as fresh as a new born and for that I am eternally, wholly and completely thankful.

 

Christian Clichés

 

Hahahahahaha!

 

I’m laughing, but there is a serious message here. We should be careful not to do things, or say things, just to sound ‘like a Christian’, to fit in, to keep up with the Joneses. I am really not a fan of ‘Christianese’. It is like putting on a show to demonstrate that you’re one of the gang. But the only thing that makes you ‘one of the gang’ is grace. We should be equally careful what we say when we publicly address our Creator. It’s careless and sloppy if it’s not thoughtful and considered – I mean, this is God I’m talking to, why would I offer Him anything less-than? And it’s akin to blasphemy if it is all ‘for show’.  Would you prostitute yourself in this way?

 

 

 

Harsh words? <sigh>

 

Don’t be discouraged. Let us be genuine, brothers and sisters (and that I write with all sincerity – same as I hope I always act and speak) and then at least we’re not lying to one another (or worse, to God) and we won’t fall into the trap of pride, or self-righteousness. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen into this trap myself more times than I can count. This is such an easy sin to slide into because to all intents and purposes it looks just like the real thing… and it sounds so fetching, but it’s fool’s gold, Worthless.

All that glisters is not gold  (this is iron pyrites) …and all that sounds ‘Christian’ ain’t necessarily spectacular either

 

Jesus said:

First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean… For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. 

Matthew 23:26-27

 

Finally, let me end with these beautiful words:

 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable to you,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

 

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:5-6

 

To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is!

Proverbs 15:23

 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…