Self-seeking and Sound Judgment
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
Richard Mouw tells of a Catholic priest from New Jersey visiting the South for the first time. On his first morning, scanning the hotel breakfast menu, he notices that quintessential Southern delicacy, “grits.” When the waitress arrives, he asks her: “Miss, what is a grit?” She replies, “Honey, they don’t come by themselves!”
Neither do Christians. In the words of Professor Mouw, “Like grits, ‘Christian’ is a plural thing.”
But lots of folk don’t think that way. Their only interest is their own interest, their peculiar pleasures, their immature idiosyncrasies. In Solomon’s words, they seek their own desire. From full-blown heretics like Arius or Joseph Smith, to troublemakers like Korah in the Old Testament (Nu. 16) and Diotrephes in the New Testament (3 John), or the complainers, grumblers, malcontents, and murmurers—like Moses’ own brother and sister (Nu. 12)—those who follow their own sinful devices (Jude 16) create havoc for the Kingdom of God.
Self-seeking destroys sound judgment. It objects for the sake of objecting, argues for the sake of arguing, opposes for the sake of opposing. It may disguise itself with high-sounding words like “conviction,” “concern,” or “principle”—but, as with Diotrephes, the bottom line is “me.” (2 John 9). And ”me first” maketh not a church.
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. May this be our challenge today: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).
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