showing off in church


January 2016 (12)Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

1 Watch how you walk when you go to the house of God. Drawing near for the purpose of listening is better than merely offer gifts like fools, because they do not even know they are acting improperly. 2 Do not be impulsive with that mouth of yours, and do not let your heart hurry to say what it wants to say to God, because God lives in the sky and you are on the land. For that reason, you should keep your words few. 3 Because a nightmare comes from working too hard, and too many words reveal a fool’s voice.

showing off in church

The collector reflects on how he had abused religion to bolster his own ego, and to drive his own ambition. He used to go to the temple just to brag about all his accomplishments in public. And – once there, he could not resist the temptation to vow to build more things “for the glory of God.” He could not resist the temptation to “give to God” more stuff – stuff God never asked for, and does not need. It was never about God, and it never really glorified God. It was all for the purpose of Solomon feeding his own desire for self-glorification.

So, now an older and wiser man, Solomon advises the next generation – and ours – to shut up and listen when they go to church. Real religion does not consist of showing off before the public. It consists of “caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”[1]

LORD, we approach you with repentance and ask you to help us to keep our stupid mouths shut when we enter your presence in public. Teach us to listen to your word, and demonstrate humility, not self-glory.

[1] James 1:27 NLT.


About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a former Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in ambition, church, giving, glory, listening, Solomon, worship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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