Devotions from James Smith’s book The Good and Beautiful Life

We all want to be loved and feel valuable, worthwhile and wonderful.  The world measures our worth on the basis of our appearance, production and performance. Image is everything!  But this need for affirmation from others makes us vulnerable to the sin of Vainglory.  It is rooted in insecurity and driven by our need for affirmation by others. It is very subtle and hard to detect. If we live outwardly pious lives we may be tempted to think we are better than others. In Jesus day, He was critical of 3 vainglorious acts – Ostentatious giving, praying and fasting in order to be praised and noticed by others. But Jesus was more concerned about the real issue of the heart and motives for doing these things.  Whatever we do is it to come into greater intimacy with God or is it to impress others?  He wants us to do things with no concern about what others will think about us. How different the narrative of His kingdom is:  You are valuable to God. God loves you no matter what. Your worth is not dependent on you performance or on what others think of you. We are precious and priceless to Him. Wow! If we can really grab hold of this our lives will never be the same. More tomorrow on this.