I like to drive to church with worship music on. It often helps guide my mind to the right place. I sometimes see it as putting on my “game face” for worship. In other words, I’m putting on my mask.
This past Sunday I realized that may be a problem.
The fact that I feel the need to somehow change myself into someone different is an indication that I’m not always living my day to day life in touch with God’s Spirit. While it’s good that I could at least realize it and take steps to tune back into God, am I only taking these measures when I’m on my way to worship God in a room full of fellow Christians?
The word hypocrite comes to mind.
Honestly, this whole process is one of the reasons why I go to church: I need reminders and accountability to stay connected with God. Worshipping in community reminds me to pursue God, even if I don’t find most church services today particularly helpful in actually, you know, meeting with God. They tend to be rather busy.
From what I can see, my struggles with hypocrisy have an up side. I at least get an indication of when I’m not on the same page with God. The trick is to only care about what God thinks about this.
We all need to be built up by time with God. We need to be strengthened by the Spirit’s power whether we’re alone all day or interact with hundreds of people.
When I feel that tug to get my spiritual “act” together for church, I have a clue about my need for God. The trick is to confess my misguided motivations. I need more of God all of the time, not just when I’m around other Christians.
That’s the problem with hypocrisy. It usually leads us to do good things for the wrong reasons. In the case of Christianity, hypocrisy can be exhausting and terrifying. We worry about what others will think about us if they find out who we really are. I forget that I typically have no problem overlooking the flaws of others, but if someone really looked at me, it’s all over.
I’ll be honest with you, I feel that tug to sit with God right now. I’m just sitting in my living room on a Tuesday morning. No one will see the immediate impact of God on my life, but I hope that as God changes me and I live for him, those incremental steps will make me the kind of person who can drive to church at peace with God, not worrying about the way I’ll appear before others.
I’ll still take my mp3 player along just in case I’m in the mood for some music.