On June 4th, we kicked off our summer sermon series, Becoming Whole. During this series, John is defining wholeness as an undivided, integrated life. We are considering what it means to be broken — or what happens when our public, exterior life is divided from our interior emotional and spiritual lives — and how we become whole again by living with God from the inside out. This past Sunday (July 9th), John preached on avoiding religious hypocrisy, which Jesus defines as doing our spiritual acts to be seen by others.
Here are some quotes from the sermon:
“Peter Gollwitzer, Paschal Sheeran, Verena Michalski, and Andrea Siefert published an interesting paper on this topic in the May 2009 issue of Psychological Science. They argued that important goals like pursuing a career path involve a commitment to an identity goal. Identity goals are goals that ultimately influence a person’s concept of who they are. Careers choices are one kind of identity goal, but committing to a hobby, to being a good parent, or to taking on a volunteer or charity position may also be identity goals.
They suggest that when people announce an intention to commit to an identity goal in public, that announcement may actually backfire. Imagine, for example, that Mary wants to become a Psychologist. She tells Herb that she wants to pursue this career and that she is going to study hard in her classes. However, just by telling Herb her intention, she knows that Herb is already starting to think of her as a Psychologist. So, she has achieved part of her identity goal just by telling Herb about it. Oddly enough, that can actually decrease the likelihood that Mary will study hard.” From https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/200905/if-you-want-succeed-don-t-tell-anyone
The definition of the discipline of secret service or secrecy from Renovare:
“Consciously refraining from having our good deeds and qualities generally known, which, in turn, rightly disciplines our longing for recognition.”
Thomas Merton quote:
“A man who is not stripped and poor and naked within his own soul will unconsciously tend to do the works he has to do for his own sake rather than for the glory of God. He will be virtuous not because he loves God’s will but because he wants to admire his own virtues. But every moment of the day will bring him some frustration that will make him bitter and impatient and in his impatience he will be discovered.
He has planned to do spectacular things. He cannot conceive himself without a halo. And when the events of his daily life keep reminding him of his own insignificance and mediocrity, he is ashamed, and his pride refuse to swallow a truth at which no sane man should be surprised.” ~Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. pp. 58-59