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23 February 2010

window dressing

Welcome to another guest post! This one is from my friend and commenter Leroy (that's his pen name). He and I frequently enjoy long-running discussions of Scripture and I value his insight and spiritual depth as well as his irreverent sense of humor (not in a spiritual sense, but in a "sacred cows aren't really sacred" way) .

Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”
Mark 12:38-40 (NLT)

Have you ever known anyone that had a big, beautiful house but when you go inside it’s empty?  It’s called being “house poor”.  They have spent all their money on the house in hopes that one day they will be able to fill it with nice things.  Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a problem with big houses or nice things so this isn’t a rant against “stuff”.

Similarly, have you ever had a friend that had an ideal life – great spouse, great family, great job, successful – but they were really falling apart on the inside?  To some extent we all have parts of our lives that are not always what they seem, good or bad.  When we attend worship services we can be the same way.  Someone asks “how are you” and you smile and reply “I’m fine” knowing that you’re mad as a hornet because the kids simply refused to get dressed and made you late.  That’s a battle many of us fight and quite frankly I’m not sure that I want to hear about your problems getting out of the house (unless, of course, you want to hear about mine...).

How do we common folk (as opposed to politicians, movie stars, etc.) influence each other?  By relationships.  Building true and lasting relationships is the best way to influence and be influenced.  However, relationships that are built to manipulate someone (to get what you want maybe) typically do not last.

"What’s the point?" you ask?  Are you window dressing in your daily life?  Do you go to worship services distracted by the world?  Do you go to worship services with your best clothing and leave your best attitude at home?  Are you really a friend with [Bob] or is it a relationship of convenience?  Do you separate your work life from your “Sunday” life or are you trying to be sold-out to Christ 24/7?

If you are actively imitating something you are not: get real.  LiterallyFirst you must recognize and acknowledge there is a problem.  Then, decide to do something about it.  Don’t just settle with giving God your leftovers.  Jesus wants to be our Savior and in return He wants us to make Him Lord of our lives.  Total devotion to Him.  That means that in all that we do – family, work, serving others, hobbies, good times, bad times – we do out of service to Him and we give thanks, glory, and honor to Him.  Do this regularly and you are on the path to making Him Lord of your life.


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