Have you heard of him?
He’s the CEO of Tesla and apparently he stuck one of his products up into space today.
Because space exploration is just the genius, billionaire, philanthropist playboy thing to do.
Forget North Korea, here’s a bloke who always has a smile on his face, went from nothing to everything, pours a bajillion dollars into R&D to benefit other people, is working collaboratively with governments, is spending waaaaay more than his gross product could ever accrue in revenue and yet never seems to go broke……we have a bond villain on our hands people.
Behind the smile is a plot to hold the world to ransom. You must see the pattern by now.
Or that’s what I think anyway.
Because we’re sceptical aren’t we? We’re trained by the sceptical air we breathe that there’s got to be a catch somewhere. I remember pretty much my first ‘health lesson’ in school was ‘stranger danger.’ We’ve learned that public figure let us down; just ask Barnaby Joyce’s family.
People are looking for ‘the catch’ the character flaw that reveals the inconsistency.
That is the atmosphere within which we are told to minister the grace of God. Jesus had some advice for the disciples when they started asking questions about prayer. This is worth paying attention to because questions about prayer are questions about the side of us the people don’t see in public.
Here’s Jesus’ advice that appears within a verse in Matthew 6.
“Don’t be like the hypocrites.” Matt 6:5
There’s obviously more to it, but Spurgeon used to pick out segments of verses so I can too.
I can’t think of a more relevant command of Jesus to those who would claim to have a relationship with God in an age of scepticism. In an age where folks are waiting, even expecting to see where and when we’ll trip up.
applying this text has lead me to adopt the following mantra, some of you who come along to Waratah have heard me say this before; “you don’t get a choice to communicate or not, only what you are communicating.” In short, we’re always saying something.
Well that’s all fine but it’s actually not good enough to simply say don’t be a hypocrite and Jesus doesn’t stop there either. He knows better than anyone that the more scared you become of inconsistency, the more inconsistent you become.
It’s like when you’re learning to drive for the first time and you’re so nervously overthinking the gear changes, that the car behind you can see the sparks flying out from underneath your car as you grind the gears.
Read this next bit slowly: Rigorous. Self-discipline. Can’t. Produce. Consistency.
Rigorous self-discipline can’t produce consistency because ultimately, consistency is a product of grace. Ie; fruit of the Spirit. Let’s put it this way, when you aim for self-control for self-control’s sake, rather than beginning with the truth that it’s a fruit of the Spirit of God, you will become a hypocrite and you’ll struggle not to become the villain. Not to become a maniac.
I know, I tried the self-discipline thing to get over an addiction once.
Self control and consistency are not virtues, they’re fruit.
You only get to taste the fruit by talking the master of the vineyard, and that folks is Jesus.