Posts Tagged ‘teacher’s pet’

You ever hear that Jesus parable about the two men praying in the temple- one, a Pharisee, thanked God for how good himself is; and the other, a tax collector, beat his chest in shame crying out to God for mercy. Jesus went on to say that it was the tax collector, not the priest, who was justified before God. Check it out–>> Luke 18:9-14

Over the last 3 or 4 year I have really tried to have a humble posture and attitude within when approaching the throne of God in prayer. Honestly, it’s not hard when I start thinking about the brokeness in my life. Most of my prayers start with (or are completely) a mixture of thanking God and asking forgiveness. The following hymn comes to mind:

I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, nor wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ; His death and resurrection. “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”

This part I am not ashamed of me, and is an attitude I will continue to live and strive for.

I however would like to pose an interesting twist or thought, based on something I occasionally recognize in myself. What about those times when I nonchalantly brag about “boasting in God”? As if to say I am better than the next person because I acknowledge the awesomeness of God (pst. even the demons do that- Matthew 8:28-31).

What about the times when I go through the motions  or ritualize a prayer intro? What about those times when I’m not honest with God? When I feed him half-hearted praises born out of frustration(s) and confusion.

We all do it to some extinct. Lately, I’ve been noticing it in the speech of my fellow friends and believers and in occasional moments in my prayer-life. If you are the type of person who wants to combat this form of pride, good luck. This a muddy water to travel through. On the one hand the person may be verbally boasting about God in the most elaborate and convincing way they can think of. On the other, the depths of their heart is revealed in the manner and body language they communicate. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. For me, it’s pretty easy to tell when someone means what they say. I just see it in their eyes. I hear the passion in their voice. I note their humble smirk; their non-judgmental eyebrows.

Someone who boasts about how much they boast about God seems like the “teacher’s pet” version of Christians. They can say all the right things, and sweet talk the Teacher. But something about how they condescendingly interact with their classmates, makes the Teacher a little weary of trusting every drop of flattery they utter (though they may continue to get gold stars). I find it interesting that in elementary school, its can be cute when little kids suck up. However in college, professors hate it.

As we mature in our faith, we strive to become more humble and more reliant on what God puts on our hearts. Though it is good to lift up God’s name and worship His being, I challenge you (& myself) to make it more than just words. I hope it is a true reflection of your heart and mind.

Jesus said (in a number of different ways),

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me….you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.Mark 15:1-20