Lent – Day 14

In a discussion yesterday someone pointed out two extremes – altruism and psychological egoism – and we talked about them, about how easy it is to do something that looks good and bask in the glow of praise from others. And it is difficult, when the adulation comes, to deflect it, accepting the thought without letting it puff you up.

“You should be proud,” is often heard from others when you do something worthwhile; yet, how opposite this is to Jesus’s teaching, to Buddha’s teaching. (And probably to others, as well.) When you focus on God, and focus on shining God’s light, then the need for praise, for boosting yourself up, diminishes. If you’re capable, it might even vanish if your focus is complete.

As you discover what to do instead of what you were doing, don’t judge the action on how it would make you appear, but rather how it fits in with your personality. If you try to do something that is not you, like an extrovert trying to keep quiet, you’re bound to meet with disappointment. Here we are working to reveal who we are in a way that does not glorify ourselves, because when we reveal who we really are, what we are doing is glorifying God.

J

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