Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Vanity Virus

Vanity is the most dangerous of any spiritual illness, and human beings have been inflicted with spiritual virus since the very beginning. Eve, when she saw the “ tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3.6) Ever since that moment, humans have been infected with the vanity virus.

Vanity is at the core of every sin and every bad relationship between people. Whenever we place our needs and desires above others or God, we have an outbreak of vanity. Every time we please ourselves with beautiful clothing and jewelry, we have an outbreak of vanity. WHEN, not if, we find ourselves contemplating how we can benefit, we have an outbreak of vanity. There is no sin that cannot be traced to vanity. You could say sin is the symptom of the vanity virus.

This is why Jesus said, “Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8.34) This Gospel passage is read each year on the Sunday following the Feast of the Holy Cross, this year on September 15, 2013. The Church reminds us we are unable to follow Christ unless we first deny ourselves. We must FIRST put aside vanity before we can know the love of Christ. If we remain focused upon ourselves, we will remain blind to the love Christ has offered us, and that blindness become death and eternal torment.

One of my favorite examples of vanity in the New Testament is the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The rich man is tormented knowing that Lazarus is unable to come and care for HIM and cool HIS tongue, or go and warn HIS family. It is all about HIM, so he cannot see that he is in the embrace of God. His blindness to God’s love has become torment.

So if you want to experience God’s love…..get over yourself. The one thing about the vanity virus… has a cure in Jesus.

This post is part of a series of posts for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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