Time alone

I drove to Portland today for a lunch meeting to talk about a prayer event next year in Portland for world missions. Yesterday, knowing that I was going to have two hours by myself as I drove to Portland to think and reflect I came up with a couple of questions to ask myself to facilitate self examination and honest inspection of my character and motives. There were two recent events where I shared some information about myself that made me look good. The question that I asked myself was why did I do that? I was thinking at the time that I was attempting to be a model and encouragement to those I was sharing with. 1 Peter 5 says, “proving to be examples to the flock”. I really take that role of Pastoring seriously, but could it be that my pride snuck in there and I was being motivated by my desire to be admired and well thought of, being a people pleaser to receive praise from men. I memorized and meditated on Matthew 6:1, “beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them, otherwise you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven”. My conclusion after thinking about it was that the more spontaneous my “boasting” was the less apt the motive was pure, and information that I shared having thought about it and having crafted the wording prayerfully in my mind and on paper so as to be a good example of right living to others was usually from a pure heart and therefore would be blessed and used by God. As I reflected I was again impressed with how thin a line there is between right and good motives and those driven by pride and desire to recieve glory from men. Doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons is so easy. Another verse that I memorized and pray daily is Psalms 26:2, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart,” and also Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be some hurtful or wrong way in me”. I believe God will answer that prayer.

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