Monday, May 20, 2013

Shh! Stop! Be still and know!

Do you long to grow spiritually? Does this ambition keep you actively reading books, listening to sermons, attending Bible studies, and reading, reading, reading your Bible? Do you often get drawn into spiritual and theological discussions, sharing and writing your theological and spiritual thoughts, or find yourself following link after link after link on blog after blog reading about the spiritual insights and growth of others?  (How did you get here, by the way? :-) )

Beware of pride behind spiritual growth!  Knowledge puffs up!  Maybe you need to step away from the computer, and close the books for a bit. And don't talk, or write, or comment on posts.  Don't do anything to be seen--but instead make yourself unseen in your "doings." 

The real thing that matters is to humble yourself, to love obscurity (instead of the approval of other "spiritual" people for how "spiritual" you are), don't worry about not being noticed (don't check your page views!). Don't worry about about being scorned or doubted or discounted.

You cannot become perfect by hearing, or reading about perfection.  You can't even grow by listening to yourself.  The only thing you can do is silence your mouth and your mind and listen with your whole being to God.  God will teach you more than all the most experienced persons or best books.

And what is it anyway that you want to know so badly?  What do you need to learn more than how to be humble or poor in spirit? Or quiet?  What do you need to think on more than Jesus Christ, and Him crucified of love for you?  You already know a lot more than you practice. You do not need more knowledge half as much as you need to start putting into practice what you already know.

Adapted from "The Complete Fenelon," Chapter 18, "Using Eager Aspirations."

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