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An audience of One

November 10, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

To live and serve as if I only had an audience of one!  This was the title of our sermon yesterday out of Mtt 6:1-16, 16.  You know the passage.  Are my acts of service (giving, fasting, praying are the examples Jesus gives) done in such a way so that they will be noticed by men or are they done in secret before God, my audience of one?  How important is the praise, recognition or appreciation of men to me?  Yes, God sees all that is done, even those deeds done in secret and He will reward (in His way and in His timing). Is that good enough for me? My actions and attitudes of late indicate otherwise.

I am trying to remember where I have read about living or playing for an audience of one?  Sounds like something Yancey or Eldridge might write about.  I discovered that there was a movie in 2007 by this . title–k ow nothing about it.   There is a song by Big Daddy Weave–words don’t quite  capture for me the impact of this phrase. Here is a quote from Philip Yancey that I found

According to Jesus, it’s what God thinks of us that matters, not what others think. Jesus instructed us to pray in a closed room, where no one could see us, rather than in a public place where we might get credit for being spiritual (Matt. 6:6). In other words, live for God and not others.

Do we clamor for attention and achievement? Jesus invites us to let go of that competitive struggle, to trust that God’s opinion of us is the only one that ultimately counts.

How would our lives differ if we truly played to an audience of One? Certainly our sense of ego and rivalry would fade, because we would no longer need to worry about proving ourselves to others. We could concentrate instead on pleasing God by living in a way that would attract people to Jesus.  — Philip Yancey

Our pastor suggested as an application for this message–do something this week in secret–write an encouraging note, give a gift to someone in need etc.  That should help but I still need to address the hidden motivations of my heart for my actions that will be seen by others.  I think this is hitting me hard this morning since I am someone who tends to be a performer–I can make jokes or do crazy things to get attention or to mess with people’s minds.  Somone once told me to “stop showing off.”  Ouch!  Does not exactly fit with someone who lives before an audience of One, does it?  I guess I need to go back to Jesus– the best example of someone who lived before an audience of One.

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