I have never been to an Andalusia City Council meeting before. Today, they were honoring the Andalusia Swim Team that Hannah Grace was a member of. The swim team did well this year and a number of the swimmers were able to go to the state meet and do excellent. It was very thoughtful of the City Council to recognize them at their meeting.
Hannah Grace thought this was pretty cool. When it came time for them to be recognized, the mayor came down and shook all their hands. Hannah Grace feels pretty special that she got to shake hands with the mayor. Then, he stood with them and took a picture. Because Hannah Grace was standing on the end, he stood next to her. She thought that was pretty cool as well. It has been a while since the season ended and so it was good to see some of our friends again.
When we found that that Hannah Grace was invited to go to the City Council meeting, I knew this would be a good "first." Laura said something like, "Yes, that will be good. You can write about a Christian's civic duty. That's a great idea except that I feel a bit like a hypocrite doing that. For you see, I don't even live in the Andalusia city limits. I only went to the meeting because they were honoring the swim team that Hannah Grace was on. I did nothing that really had to do with my civic duty; just a supportive Dad. When they finished recognizing the swim team, they said anybody that wanted to leave was free to do so. I left. As far as the city council is concerned, I was a hypocrite.
This can happen in our Christian lives as well. We can show up for "Christian things" without really doing anything Christian. We can go to things like church, Bible study, Christian concerts, or get-togethers and go out of a poor motive. Our motive could be very selfish. It could be I just want to gain friends or receive something (like approval, inspiration, or a feel good feeling). We could have the motive that we want to be seen and thought of as "spiritual." There is the possibility that we are motivated to show up at a "Christian thing" because it may help our business or job opportunities.
These motives are all less than the motive of glorifying God and loving Him. That's the motive God is looking for. When "Christian things" have a lot more to do with something other than Jesus, they really cease to be very Christian. Jesus said in Matthew 15:8, "‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me." Ouch, I really don't want the Lord to say that about me, but I know very well He could have at times. Even in something like Bible reading, my motive can be less than knowing God and more about learning or trying to have a good day.
It might be good for me to pray regularly Psalm 139: 23-24- Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Trying to be less hypocritical in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. He loves oddballs and goof-ups
2. Hannah Grace's swim team and the adults that worked with them
3. Our city leaders