Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Growing Up

I will never forget the day that I realized that one of my teenage sons had grown up. When I asked him where he got his new sneakers, he told me where, and said that they only cost him $20. Cool and high-priced sneakers were no longer cool for him. He had seen through subtle advertising that is aimed at the na├»ve. He had out-grown “peer” pressure.

C. S. Lewis spoke to this weakness in human nature. He said that each of us has a group of people that we want to impress. For me, it was my surfing peers. I wanted them to admire me. This was reflected not only in my surfing, but in my clothes, my music, my talk, and in my life's philosophy. The moment I became a Christian, my eyes were opened to the immaturity of seeking what the Bible calls “the praise of men.”

It is the insatiable human ego that hankers after the praise of our peers. It is at the core of the clothing industry. It drives sports. It permeates the very life of Hollywood. Ego is the essence of that monster we call “ambition.” It wants to make it to the top. Shakespeare so wisely said “Fling away ambition. For by such sin fell the angels."

The Christian rather seeks the praise of God. The Divine smile is all that matters, and the only way we can please God is to have humility of the heart, something extremely foreign to our sinful nature. That’s why we need to be born again (see John 3). Through the new birth, we receive a new nature . . . one that wants above all else to please the God who gave us life.