Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wisdom from McBee & Chambers

One of the things I'm enjoying most about this time between jobs is the time I've been given to deepen and broaden my spiritual life. Like so many things in the Christian life, however, being "deep" has its dangers. The devotion below reminds me of this.

None of us can save him or her self. We're always wrong -- either being too serious, too shallow, or, in my case, too silly. Praise God that he saves, and corrects, even "profound people" like me. The correction can even come in a single sentence:
"Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby."
My friend Stephen McBee put that as a status on his facebook wall early this week.  Steve served as youth director here in Cokato in the 1990s until 2000--and then, in 2002-2003 returned again when the church here was in need. I've enjoyed getting to know him a bit through his visits here and through connections by facebook and by phone. Steve has been--and is--a real blessing to many,  He has a great God given sense of humor and an incredible dedication to God's truth.

Here's the rest of the Oswald Chambers daily devotional that Steve quoted:
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God— First Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.
Such a good reminder. Thank you Oswald, and thank you Steve McB.  It's one of the most profound things I've ever read. ;-)

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