God has a lot to say about fake spirituality. So did Soren Kierkegaard.
In his book, Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey recounts Kierkegaard’s 19th-Century parody styled after the book of Ecclesiastes:
“I saw that the meaning of life was to secure a livelihood and that its goal was
to attain a high position; that love’s rich dream was marriage with an heiress;
that friendship’s blessing was help in financial difficulties; that wisdom was what
the majority assumed it to be; that enthusiasm consisted in making a speech;
that it was courage to risk the loss of ten dollars; that kindness consisted in saying,
“You are welcome,” at the dinner table; that piety consisted in going to communion
once a year. This I saw and laughed.
Kierkegard’s critique of what he perceived to be modern Christianized culture is cutting. His words still powerfully resonate. They not so subtly point towards an empty shell of putrid, self-centered living combined with a lifeless Christian faith, one far removed from the call of Christ to authentically “seek first the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33)
When you read the life of Jesus you can’t help but notice that he had little time for spiritual fakers. Over and over his word to them was, “Woe unto you…hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13). He said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8) He exposed their pretentious living with the simple question,
Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
Here at Corpath we are committed to pursuing excellence in business, in life and in spirit, because such excellence honors God and reflects our desire to authentically follow Christ and allow his values to animate all we do. Hypocrites say one thing but do another. They proclaim beliefs which their daily actions belie. Pursuing excellence is the opposite of hypocrisy.
To authentically practice the existence of God and the presence of Christ in our lives is to allow our actions, our words, and our emotions to be truly shaped by the values and priorities of Jesus. This is what it means to “seek first his kingdom.” (Matthew 6:33)
When the values and priorities of Christ rule in our lives, then his reign, his kingdom has truly come. That means our Christian faith cannot be a “fake faith.” The Apostle James said it this way,
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
Consider some actions of those whom God says are truly practicing His presence and demonstrating that his kingdom has come in their lives…
- To love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 19:19)
- To love, bless, forgive and pray for our enemies (Matthew 6:45), and return evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
- To generously share our worldly goods with the needy, without public attention. (Matthew 6:3, 20)
- To pursue justice. (Luke 11:42)
- To keep a tight rein on our tongue. (James 1:26)
- To visit widows and orphans, and to remember those in prison. (James 1;27, Hebrews 13:3)
- To avoid sexual immorality and learn to control our own body. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)
- To not worry (Matthew 6:25-34) and learn the secret of being content in every circumstance. (Philippians 4:11-13)
- To not cheat on our taxes (Romans 13:7) and pray for those in authority over us. (1 Timothy 2:2)
As Corpath members we claim loyalty to another world, a world where Jesus reigns and fake spirituality is unknown.
Blessings for the week ahead as you “seek first his kingdom” and demonstrate to a watching world that you are an authentic friend of Jesus.
“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
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