I was reading in Matthew today and something really stood out to me. It’s at the end of the beatitudes in Matthew 7. After giving this wonderful teaching of which our Christian life should be modeled after, there is this little diddy (verses 28 and 29):
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
Ouch. It sounds as though some of what Jesus was saying was not overly revolutionary in that it had been said by others before him. The difference this time was that there was something different behind His words: Authority.
It really got me thinking about many of the sermons and books that I have consumed and taken part in over the years. I can remember few where I have said, “Wow. That was powerful,” at the end of them. Maybe it is because of this very thing mentioned by Matthew. Those few were delivered with the authority of God behind them, which leads me to consider the others. By whose authority were they given?
I think of my writing, and the content of much of it is just ranting, which is something delivered of my own authority, and I will be held accountable for that (ouch). But really, we must consider the motivation and origin of what we consume and deliver, even if from “religious authority.”
Since I cannot help what others do, it has to start with me.
- God, please help me to discern what is originating from my own soul, and what is coming from yours. Let it not be said that anything I do is out of a spirit of manipulation, self, or of my own authority, because these are dead words. But help me discern your voice, and only be a vessel your words pour from.