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Showing posts from February, 2015

Spiritual progress is usually hidden

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But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doingso that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you. Matt. 6:3-4 CEB
Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear?When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ Matt. 25:37-39 CEB

But wisdom, where can it be found; where is the place of understanding?Humankind doesn’t know its value;it isn’t found in the land of the living. The Deep says, “It’s not with me”;the Sea says, “Not alongside me!” But wisdom, where does she come from? Where is the place of understanding? She’s hidden from the eyes of all the living...God understands her way; he knows her place; for he looks to the ends of the earth and surveys everything beneath the heavens. Job 28: 12-14, 20 ff. CEB


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Engage Practices for Self Awareness & Authenticity

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Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 6:1 CEB  After the hedonism of Mardi Gras, it's that time of the year when the spiritual practices will soon be in vogue. Again.

The reading from Matthew 6 is a reminder that the practices are really nothing in themselves. After all, prayer, giving, and fasting are practices embedded  in  many religions outside of Christianity. If the practices buttress my spiritual accomplishments, they are just another occasion for hypocrisy and pretense. Anything we do in the name of faith can be subverted by our own ego, our need to say, along with Little Jack Horner, "what a proud boy am I." It's too easy to present ourselves in way that is overblown- where the image we project goes far beyond where we're actually living. Others can see through the pretense, and Jesus called that hypocrisy. According to Jesus,…