Every so often I re-read the words of Christ and ask myself, do I really believe? Do I really believe in what he said on the sermon on the mount and that it applies to me. As Christmas approaches, and New Years, is always a good time for introspection.
So I read the Sermon on the Mount and ask myself, do I believe that I should not consider anyone else worthless or a fool? Do I really believe that I should not be dismissive of others and secure in my own superiority?
Which is pride. And as I look at avoiding pride, it has required, as I have grown older, taking a step back from being critical of those who criticize others. I need to remind myself, from time to time, that just as I should not engage in idolatry of any human leader, I also need to refrain from disregarding others or considering them foolish because they disregard or call others fools and worthless. It is the full spectrum of the meaning of the sermon on the mount.
Don’t do some things, which includes not criticizing others for doing those things (at least some times).
So I review and think, as I reread the New Testament. Remembering that a call to repentance is first a call for me to repent.
Pictures are from the Gospel of Matthew and the text I return to from time to time.
(From a new study Bible I’m reading in the mornings. I hit this point and realized it was time for introspection again).
- What introspections do you have this time of year?
- What are your take-away points from the Sermon on the Mount?
- As you have gotten older, has any particular part of it called to you more than others?
- Do you think Christmas is a good time for introspection and self-evaluation? What other times of the year are good for that?
Thanks for this post, Stephen.
I love the Sermon on the Mount. It is deceptively simple to understand yet incredibly difficult to actually implement. It constantly pushes me and forces me to act against the inertia of my nature. I’m rarely good at implementing its precepts, so I’m exceedingly grateful for God’s grace.
I have charity fatigue. The older I get and the more I go through the less sympathy I have for people. I know I should reverse this and I wonder why its happening that way (aren’t we supposed to become more empathetic as we suffer?) But I look at what is expected and I think I am just too tired to even care. Even if I go to hell. Merry Christmas to all. Sorry for the downer.
Lily, you have my sympathy. There is such an overload of everything at this time of year.