Many Christians have forgotten the biblical mandate to kindness and exchanged it instead for niceness. Listen as Pastor David Prince calls us to recover an ethic of kindness that drives us to do justice as we walk humbly before the Lord.
Idolatry is often subtle. The subtlety comes because we tend to make idols of good things. We can fixate so much on a particular good thing that it becomes an ultimate thing. Anytime we think
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. (Luke 19:1-3 ESV) If you could gather every person who has ever drawn a breath in human history into one place and ask them, “What is the human source of our societal problems?” There would be a virtually unanimous response, “Selfishness!” Most cultures in human history have considered inordinate self-focus a vice that damages people and society. But there would be a tiny minority report from modern Western culture. Our culture’s answer to that question is the complete opposite. We say that the source of societal problems is lack of self-esteem. Why do people do harmful and destructive things? The predominant answer in our culture is they think too little of themselves and the solution is that they learn to focus more on themselves and think more highly of themselves. Choose: Great Person or Great Savior The problem for Christians who buy into the minority report of contemporary Western culture is that a self-referential worldview is at odds with the Christian message. You cannot tack the gospel onto a self-referential worldview. The Scripture warns us, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” (Rom 12:3) and “in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). Self must not be our reference point because we are to live “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb 12:2). The account of Zacchaeus helps us see what happens when we humbly see Jesus with eyes of faith.