Monday, February 18, 2013

Take no one seriously

I DON'T KNOW where my copy of Oswald Chambers' My Utmost For His Highest is—a friend must have borrowed and forgot to return it. That book has radically changed me. I read it in 2004, the most memorable and transformative year of my life, for that was when I came to know Jesus Christ personally. Imagine the excitement I had—a baby Christian—as I studied the Bible, relishing every word of it, and making sense of hard concepts like faith and justification and forgiveness. It was exhilarating, not unlike the way a man gets preoccupied with the woman of his dreams—but the experience was so much more.

Oswald Chambers helped me make sense of Scripture. My battered, hand-me-down copy of My Utmost For His Highest, the compilation of the Scottish pastor's writings, was a treasure I kept in my room.

While browsing the web, I chanced upon the website, http://utmost.org. The article, Shallow and Profound, cut straight to my heart. I'm posting it in full here. I hope it brings you encouragement and, ultimately, rebuke.

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Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, which is a sure sign that you are a spiritual prig. Be careful of the production of contempt in yourself, it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than you are. Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps: the ocean has a shore. The shallow amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. These are the things in which Our Lord lived. He lived in them as the Son of God, and He said that "the disciple is not above his Master."

Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the deeps to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Determinedly take no one seriously but God, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

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