Reading through 2 Corinthians, reminds me of the natural bearing that we get in our lives as Christians to become spiritually arrogant. The more we grow in our walk as Christians, the more we seem to become prideful and well up with a sense of having gone to a new level in Christ, and it’s good, to continually seek new levels of depth in Him, what’s not good is when we use the ruler we have to measure ourselves and we put it on others.
When Moses encountered the presence of God, he came down from the mountain and had to veil his face because the glory was showing so brightly that people were staring at him. So he put a veil over his face as to not attract attention to what God had done in his life. Here’s where we do just the opposite, we like to grow in our knowledge of Christ, get puffed up on biblical knowledge and maybe even encounter God and see some real change happen, so we think we have to put on a veil because people know that we’ve encountered God and see a difference, but no one has seen a real change in us. We seem more grumpy and unloving than many non Christians, we come across more judgmental than Fox News….and I like Fox News, but we have knowledge of change but no application, and we still try to put this veil in between us and others that God didn’t tell us anywhere in the bible to put there. So people who are in our lives all around us, look at us and wonder why we wear this veil. That guys no different from me…why does he do that. I know people much nicer than that Christian…why does he wear that veil. And we separate ourselves from the rest of the world, and we suddenly become ineffective for the cause of reaching the people around us.
As a pastor I run into many different opinions on how our church should do spiritual growth, what the messages should be about, what we should study in our small groups, what our church should and should not focus on, and everyone has their opinions. Opinions are good if God speaks through them, but so often things that people want or statements that they use are veils that they want to put up out of spiritual arrogance.
Here are some common statements I hear and what the real meaning behind them usually is:
“I want to go deep” – Translation : I really want to think more about what the bible says than do anything about it.
“I’m don’t feel like I’m getting fed” – Two translations – I don’t know how to feed myself apart from Sunday mornings – or – I’m not hungry enough to eat what’s being offed at your church.
“I’m just not getting anything out of the service”- My main concern if I’m going to attend here is ME
These are just a few, and here’s how I think all of these personally have affect in my life…I get deeper in my personal study and prayer time than I have ever been able to get in any church, whether its teaching, or super spirituality, if you’re not getting it in your prayer closet, you won’t be satisfied at church either. If I’m hungry, I will eat what’s on the table…when there have been times I haven’t got anything out of the teaching…it’s not the teacher that wasn’t good…I just wasn’t hungry enough. And if I care more about the church service than I do my service to the church, I have reached the point of spiritual elitism, and I might as well just start running around with a holier than thou Jesus veil on my face.