Monday, November 7, 2016

AN AUDIENCE OF ONE


According to Jesus, what other people think of me matters very little.  What God thinks, matters far more.  Pray in a closed room, Jesus said, where no one but your Father can see you, rather than in a public place where you might get credit for being spiritual.  In other words, live for God and not other people.  I keep clamoring for attention and achievement.  Jesus invites me to let go of that competitive struggle, to trust that God’s opinion of me is the only one that counts, ultimately.

"There are but two principles of moral life in the universe," said the mystic Madam Guyon, "one which makes ourselves, or the most limited private good, the center; the other, which makes God, who may be called the universal good, the center."  I could summarize my entire spiritual pilgrimage as an effort to move the operating center from myself to God.

I ask myself how my life would differ if I truly played to an audience of One, if I continually asked not "What do I want to do?" or "What would bring me approval from others?" but "What would God have me do?"  Certainly my sense of ego and rivalry would fade because I would no longer need to worry about proving myself to other people.  I could concentrate instead on pleasing God, by living in such a way that would attract people to Jesus’ style of life.

-- Philip Yancey in Rumors of Another World


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