In my opinion www.bluefish.org.uk is really good. Mr. B really gives us some interesting things to chew on and think about, but from time to time I find some posts really sock it to me.
One of these recently occurances came when I read an article about pride and competition in bible teaching.
You see, I have to admit I'm a proud person, who loves to be loved. And that makes teaching the bible difficult sometimes, because pride and bible teaching aren't really compatible things.
Where I used to live I was given the priviledge of being able to teach the bible to church in a few evening services, but looking back, I can honestly say that I really embraced that opportunity and worked hard not to glorify God, but to get people to think I was good. Don't get me wrong, I did want people to grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus, but as ever my motives were mixed and I came out on top.
As if that wasn't bad enough, there was another young 20 something preacher in church, and when he spoke I sat there criticising his talk, not because I wanted him to get better at teaching the bible, but because I wanted to prove to myself that I was a better teacher.
The sad thing was that with my lips I would say it was for God's glory, but in my heart it was for mine. Eventually I confessed the way I felt to this guy, and we prayed and it felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
But even now, it still comes back. I did a camp recently, and though I have no trouble with older and wiser Chrsitians doing really good talks, the same old feelings came back when my peers did great talks. And that was a really ugly thing. I felt terrible half way through that week, but again, God was gracful, and after talking and much praying I worked through it, but I don't want it to come back.
So now I'm working on my 4G philosophy. What's that? Well, I'm teaching myself that its great that he's good for the glory of God.
4G is good for me because it takes the spotlight off me and puts it back onto God. When I feel that hot feeling welling up in my belly, I think of Jesus sitting on his throne and what He thinks of the talk. I think of what I know of him in the bible compared to me and how great he is, and how the people listening are finding out about the greatest person in the universe and think 'should they miss out on this for my pride?'
I guess in the end, the way I respond to 4G answers the question 'who do I love the most'. Do I love me and my reputation, or do I love God and his people more than myself?
Sometimes the answer is the former, and I have to repent but because of God's kindness I stil know God's grace in forgiving and using me again. Happily though, because of the Holy Spirit's work in changing me and making me more like Jesus, sometimes the answer is the latter, and with my head and my heart I can say it's great that He's good for the glory of God.