Saturday, 4 July 2009

Blinded by the Light 16 Superstition - The Solution

It is good to show respect for our place of worship, and to show respect for God in the way we dress and act. But since we can do nothing to make God love us any more than he does already, these things must not be given special merit. We have already seen that God looks on our hearts, not on the outward appearance (1 Sam.16:7). Love and tolerance in the beginning can help visitors come to know God and his love for them through you. As they and other new Christians grow in relationship with him they will desire to behave and dress more appropriately.

Those rituals and observances which help to focus our minds on God or help us in our obedience or our worship must not be elevated to the position of somehow essential to our salvation. Here we stray once again into legalism. We become upset and guilty if a ritual is omitted or disrupted. For example, a daily quiet time is a discipline which can be a great blessing to us, and one we should do our best to follow. The problem comes when we are unavoidably unable to have our quiet time one day, or for several days, and feel guilty or insecure in our standing before God. Or when we become harsh with children or others who disrupt us for good reason, because we feel the day is spoiled without it.

Many of us are not even aware of the whole range of superstitions which have grown up in our own lives or in our congregations. The next time you are faced with something which seems inappropriate or disrespectful to God, stop and ask yourself, in the light of God's unconditional love and care for his people, if it really matters.

Previous posts in this series:

Legalism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Magic Formulas: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Answers to Everything: The Truth,The Trap, The Solution
Scripture Twisting: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Superstition: The Truth, The Trap

Further posts to come in this series:
Elitism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
The Need to See: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution

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