Re: Sermon | Stop Tooting Your Own Horn

Taken from Jesus on Self-Promotion | Matthew 6.1-4

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”

“Being noticed is not evil; but trying, expecting, or wanting to be noticed may be.  And this is where all of us live.  Our culture is all about being noticed for the good, bad, or weird thing you do.  While its unlikely you’ll post a YouTube video that will go viral, you can still try and get noticed by others on Facebook, or FAKEBOOK.  If Jesus were on earth today, I think instead he may have said “what comes out on Facebook proceeds from the heart.”  Of course, you don’t believe you’re on there to get noticed…but you are.  I will contend that most of what men/women put up on Facebook is motivated out of a desire to make other people think a certain way about THEM—usually positive.  Whispering wasn’t invented for compliments and Facebook wasn’t invented for confession.

FAKEBOOK is all about making your life appear better than it actually is. We upload “artistic” profile pictures so people think we’re good looking.  We wish our brides happy anniversary to make people thing we’re good husbands.  We report the dates we go on with our daughters so that others will think we’re good Dads.  We post pictures of our food so people will think we are good cooks.  We post quotes from books we haven’t read so people will think we have good brains.  We like organizations so that people will think we are good citizens.  We friend people we’d never talk so people will think we are loving. We like comments so that people will think we are good friends.  We post rants so people will think we are good consumers.  FAKEBOOK is all about making your life appear better than it actually is—its’ a giant APPROVAL machine where we pretend to be someone else so that others will like us.  FACEBOOK is the biggest trumpet we have today—it’s a one billion person brass band!”

Advertisements

Wanted: “Older” Men to Help Us

The current display of men’s brokenness on the internet is grievous Old Man Prayingfor many reasons.  For better or worse, everyone has a story, or an opinion, and a Facebook account to share it on.  There is no absence of voices or words.  Among all of the stories, confessions, and calls for repentance, there is one thing missing.   Almost completely unnoticed is the  absence of godly older men who lead like godly older men should.

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness… Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus (2.1-8)

It is certainly possible that many of these older men tried to speak up and were silenced (or ignored) by younger men.  If Adam’s example is any indication of our sinful tendencies, it is more likely that they silenced themselves.   I can’t help but believe that much of the sickness being uncovered is a result of a bunch of younger men who were never taught to be self-controlled, dignified, and a model of good works.   Perhaps it was never modeled for them by older men.

As I grieve, I find myself wondering if any of these sinful mistakes could have been avoided through the presence of older men.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But now I find myself hoping  that we will be able to avoid any further sin through the leadership of older men.  Immaturity abounds.  The only antidote is for younger men to stop asking for help from each other and start seeking out the wisdom of mature older men.

I am not talking just about more aged men.  I am not talking about more experienced pastors.   I am not talking about older men who lead churches by filling an office at all.  I am talking about courageous older godly mature men in the church who lead  by knowing their Lord, loving their wives, leading their families, and serving their churches.

I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to be angry.  I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to lead by love.  I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will obey God and instruct younger immature (and older immature) men in all godliness.

Stand. Speak.  Encourage.  Admonish. Lead. Love.  We need you men, now more than ever.