The one disgusting trap for every believer
In Matthew 6, Jesus begins by warning us not to ‘practice righteousness in front of others to be seen’. That rising feeling in your gut where you want persons to see how much time or money you gave to others in need. The boasting of all that you do for family, church, work, or the community. The desire to let persons know how long you pray, or what a great prayer warrior you are. The display that you put on when you are fasting, exclaiming how long you are fasting and what you are doing without, so persons can look on you with awe.
The greatest sinner
I am the greatest sinner of them all. It has been a trap of pride that I have fallen into so many times. And even though Jesus finishes the warning to say that, “If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 6:1) I find myself still feeling that sensation of pride building within me when an opportunity arises to boast on my ‘righteousness’. As soon as I allowed it to win, I felt miserable, disgusted and sick right after. I knew that I had sinned.
That is why religion can never be the answer. I was lost in my religion because I was caught up in making others happy. I was doing things so that others can see what I do. Once, I was in the youth church office wrapping up the finishing pieces for a play the kids were performing that night. My mom rushed in and exploded in anger, asking why I was not helping her on a church mission activity to feed persons in the community.
I tried explaining, reminding her of all the other things I was doing. It didn’t matter – I was not making her happy. After her outburst and departure, I remember collapsing in the office chair and blindly looking at the door. Tears were rolling down my face, and I was exhausted.
Even though my mom apologized later, the incident and exhaustion stayed with me for a very long time. No matter how many things I did, it was never enough to please everyone.
That breaking point
Its seems silly now reflecting how I got so caught up in being religious and a pleaser to men. But as believers of God, it is something that can easily happen. I have seen many believers become burned-out and leave the church altogether.
When I reached my breaking point years later, I realized that my thinking was all wrong. My focus and living were all about MY will and not HIS will. I came to a startingly realization that I was a Christian who had no relationship with God.
I had a great relationship with my pastor and church family, but that didn’t connect with God. I didn’t have a deep and burning relationship. Like the Laodicea church, in Revelation 3:16, I had a very luke-warm relationship with Christ.
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) Be encouraged by this verse. God worked in me and He can definitely work in you as well.
Food for thought: The one disgusting trap for every believer is falling into pride. Praise from man is fleeting and prejudice. Focus on Christ – He will give you the strength, discernment, wisdom and power to do His will. Humbly approach Him, and He will reward you.
Prayer: Father, cleanse my heart and mind. In your mercy, I humbly come before you seeking forgiveness. May you fill me up with your good purpose. Grant me thy wisdom, strength and power. In Jesus’ name. Amen