Came across this quote from Edmund Burke about French politicians, but can be carried across all humanity quite easily.
“Statesmen, like your present rulers, exist by every thing which is spurious, fictitious, and false; by every thing which takes the man from his house, and sets him on a stage, which makes him up an artificial creature, with painted theatric sentiments, fit to be seen by the glare of candlelight, and formed to be contemplated at a due distance. Vanity is too apt to prevail in all of us, and in all countries.”
Putting yourself on a stage can be devastating. People are better off keeping home, out of the spotlight, not putting on a show.
There is a time and a place to stand and do your thing in front of others. This is not a fear thing, but a humility thing.
Worship too often can be a stage-driven. Look at me and my awesomeness that is more awesomer than your pathetic non-awesomeness. I have the Spirit, you don’t, ya pathetic loser.
When we depend on external things in our worship, I think we are tempted along these lines more.
I think the true context of worship is in the heart, in the Spirit. That can take place anywhere and I truly hope that a small percentage of your worshipful moments occurred in church. I hope many occurred in private, off the stage.
Again, this is not to say you can’t worship in church or in front of others, you can, I just wonder how much pride plays into our worshipful expressions. I’m a pastor, on a stage every Sunday. I know whereof I speak.
This is also the danger of social media. Places where we can edit what others see, where we put our best foot forward and put on a good show for everyone to watch and praise us for. Putting yourself up to be contemplated from a due distance.
Maybe that doesn’t bother everyone on Facebook, maybe I’m a rare one who struggles with that.
Pride is a killer of spiritual growth and must be guarded against. We also need to guard against using pride to judge others’ presumed pride.
“God gives grace to the humble,” so I imagine we ought to be concerned with how humble we are.