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Narcissistic: The Good Life (4)

. 2 min read
2014/02/02
Christ Church, Mountain Top
Holy
Communion
Children,
Esther 4
Message,
Matthew 6.1-18
Exercise
that Dr. Diblasio gave to our family
      Secret kindness
      Saying “thanks”
      My sister got me – I was on the phone.
Narcissus – had no love for others and
fell in love with his reflection in a pool, only to die there
Beware
of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them.
      (6.1)
Your
Father, who sees in secret, will reward you (6.4, 5, 18).
Language
used here for “in order to be seen by them” is that of performance and
applause.  (See The Message.)  The root of
the English word “theatrical” (Robertson’s Word
Pictures
).
Question, fit with context: Let your
light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory
to your Father in heaven (5.16).
      Different
class of works?
      Bonhoeffer’s
insight:
We can perform for ourselves
From
whom are we to hide the visibility of our discipleship?  Certainly not from other men, for we are told
to let them see our light.  No.  We are to hide it from ourselves.  Our task is
simply to keep on following.
      Bonhoeffer, 176

“Unselfconscious”
Bonhoeffer, 191
Fish
in water – aware?
      Much more aware of being OUT of water
Your
Father, who sees in secret, will reward you (6.4, 5, 18).
      Three assumed spiritual practices for
disciples of Jesus:
            Giving
            Praying
            Fasting
      Not a competition, like the family therapy
exercise
Can
be perverted by love for self, but properly exercised, these practices put the
old self to death.
Bill
Supplee
Lee
& Shirley Wetzel
Giving: Give to everyone who begs from
you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you (Mt 5.42).  This takes away the consciousness of our
giving, the consciousness that focuses on what we have – we are focused only on
the other, not on our own reflection.
Praying: Your Father knows what you
need before you ask (6.8).  Our
“performance” is irrelevant.  Planning
conversations in advance, rehearsing our “speech”.  We don’t have to come up with a cute way to
present our need so that God pays extra attention. 
If
God were ignorant of our needs, we should have to think out beforehand how we should tell him about them, what we should tell him, and whether we
should tell him or not.
      Bonhoeffer, 181
The
ultimate in performance anxiety, in a spiritual life that is focused on me and
how lovable I am.
Fasting:
      Doing without …
            a kind of giving (which asks us to
do without stuff)
            giving up enriches us
      … to create fresh space for Jesus in our
lives.
            Particularly for the practice of
prayer
Resources:
Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Frederick
Dale Bruner, Matthew, A Commentary, Vol
1: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12