How easy to see my life through this grace-filled lens, to stop there and wallow in the blessings God has given me, and thus allow vain glory to creep in. The way I see it, vain glory is the sin of believing that God has singled me out for a special relationship, more special than God has done with others because I am so wonderful. No wonder vain glory is at the top of the sin continuum, separating us from God more than such sins as pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth and greed. Why? Because it removes us from thy will be done, replacing it with my will be done.
I feel God calling me to view the world through a different lens. I see homeless men (and a few women) begging on the streets here in Edinburgh. On Iona Mark Braverman, a Christian Jew (author of A Wall in Jerusalem) spoke about the sin of violence against the poor and the refugee that is accepted and normalized in the name of religion. President Trump is neglecting human rights in his foreign policies, and choosing not to speak out against hate crimes in our country. My home church cut its outreach to the poor in order to balance the budget.
Jesus saw the Roman Palestine of his times through the eyes of the oppressed, the poor, the powerless. If I am to follow Jesus, my gaze must go there, too. This is a humbling thought, with no place for vain glory, but definitely grace filled. I feel God is leading me to something new.
"Speak, for your servant is listening," 1 Samuel 3:10.