Sunday, December 07, 2008

Missing The Point

The headline in The Onion read

Teenage Katrina Survivor Wins Another Writing Contest

The humor being that the judges of the writing contest cared nothing for merit, or for skill, or for awarding a prize to the most qualified, most deserving entry. Instead, the powers that be would rather give the prize to a Katrina survivor, a decision that would seem socially conscious and trendily sympathetic in the eyes of others. The judges and the people behind these contests were, in effect, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

And the whole time I was reading this article, I kept thinking about this passage of scripture.

"The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

When we cease following the light within ourselves and become consumed with appearances rather than substance, we too become Pharisees. We are transformed into hypocrites obsessed with outward appearances and externals rather than the internal guidance within our hearts. We act not out of genuine conviction, but out of a desire for adulation in a public forum. I think of all the people I've known over the course of my life who achieve a phD and then for the rest of their lives insist on being called "Doctor". These are the same sorts of people who are quick to let you know how well-educated they are and precisely where they went to school.

Instead of acting this way, friends, allow me to propose a solution. Let's do the right thing for the right reasons, this time. I have found that if you never lose sight and deny the inward stirrings of your heart, you will never go astray.


Life As I Know It Now said...

Very good advice and which I should try to follow.

Jess Wundrun said...

Kevin, that was a far better Sunday sermon than most that were given in churches around the country today.

I wonder how far one could go in not caring about outward appearances or status? I would think that you'd have to question alot of your choices and wonder whether your motivations are to make yourself happy or to make yourself appear to be something in someone elses esteem.

This is a great post and I'm going to mull it over for a quite a while