Friday, August 19, 2011

Leggo My Eg(g)o!

Mark 12:38-39
As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets."

In the eyes of the world, the scribes have it made. Learned and wealthy, they emit an aura of authority, privilege, and piety wherever they go. People of lesser rank treat them with honor and respect and obey their teachings. Their trappings of elegance and knowledge, intended to impress men, however, do little to impress God. Jesus is essentially warning His disciples to never judge a book by its cover. While the teachers of the law exude a holier-than-thou exterior, on the inside, their hearts beat with pride, greed, and corruption. They don't practice worship, they practice hypocrisy.

Are there any "scribes" in our churches today? Is the Pope Catholic? Our senior pastor, Wallace, once recounted the story of a man he met who professed he was a Christian but refused to attend church. When asked why, he bluntly stated, "I can't stand those people; they're all a bunch of hypocrites!"

Pastor Wallace's response took the man by surprise, "Why, yes, they are, and that's why they know they need to be there."

If we are honest with ourselves, if we peer deeply into the recesses of our hearts, we know this to be true. Our egos struggle daily with the temptations and accolades of this world, yet we are a people aware that we are sinners, and we know we require the strength and mercy of a loving Savior to forgive us and help us overcome our weaknesses, our pretenses, our presumptions. Each Sunday, as I prepare to lead worship with the praise band, I have to remind myself: I am not performing, I am serving; the applause of the congregation is not for me or the band, it's for the music that inspires joyful worship in their hearts; this is not about pleasing others, Lord, it's about pleasing you.

Is there a "scribe" lurking somewhere in you today? Are you doing things that are pleasing to man, but not to God? Could you share some past or present shortcomings here with other readers to bolster them in their spiritual growth? I look forward to the dialogue!


Psalms 140, 142 or 141, 143
2 Samuel 19:24-43
Acts 24:24-25:12
Mark 12:35-44


  1. Good post, definitely some food for thought. It does make you think and wish that things would become less about the commercial and what's in it for me.

  2. Great post Martha, its only in realising that we're sinners can we fall on Christ and trust Him for our salvation :-)

  3. Great post Martha. It's so true that all of us fall short from being the person God calls us to be. That's why it's so essential to have the gentle accountability from others to help steer us in the right path when we get off course.
    ~blessings to you and yours..have a great weekend!

  4. So right, everyone! We do need to trust Christ to help us when we struggle with our own egos and having others hold us accountable is a big plus. It's too easy for us sometimes to look in the mirror and see the same thing.

    Thanks, all for stopping by and leaving such wonderful comments!

  5. Martha, its good to be reminded that my ego can be a great source of pain when not in check. I always feel better about myself when humble...thanks for the post!

  6. Thanks, Amy! I think we all feel better when we are humble; it's the getting there for some that's the difficult journey.

    I'll be sure to check out your blog!


  7. 00000f! We are all scribes – we are all Pharisees – and yet we love to point our little fingers at them. In light of what I've been writing on exile – this is all very fresh and applicable and understandable – I'm here early this Saturday morning – so the post you told me about yesterday – that you were going to post today – isn't up yet – but this one was – and I hearted it – and I remember those Pharisees and the picture to – from the miniseries – that I'm old enough to remember seeing myself – before I was a Christian – Jesus of Nazareth. I think it's still the best "Jesus" movie ever made. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Martha. ツ

  8. It's important to remember that every human is flawed and is a sinner and that certainly includes leaders of our churches and religious establishments. Like the scribes we all allow our ego to come between us and God desires from us. Let have been many times when I know my ego is preventing me from living the life God wants me to have. Love the punny title :)

  9. Thanks, Craig and David! Yes, this post really seemed to touch a nerve in the readers because we could, unfortunately, all see ourselves, and it hurts. However, it is a good hurt if it leads us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord!

    Blessings to you both!


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