“Looking unto Jesus. Only three words. But in those three words consists the whole secret of life.”
~ French Protestant, Theodore Monod (1802-1856).
Piety can easily be a hyper-spiritual show of pride. Self-righteousness runs deep, and one of its most grotesque manifestations is in wanting to be seen by others as more godly than we are. Yes, piety can be detrimental. But it doesn’t have to be. Jesus’ prayers were heard “because of His piety” (Hebrews 5:7).
The pendulum of what place subjective experience ought to have in the Christian life swings in each generation from one end of the spectrum to the other. Therein lies the problem. We are too easily me-centered. We’re too busy asking, ‘What should I experience,’ rather than keeping our eyes on the One who experienced death for us. As long as we are looking inward, instead of upward, we will be robbed of the joys that could be ours.
M’Cheyene said, “For every one look at self, take ten looks to Christ.” Octavius Winslow said the health of the church is confined in one exercise: “Looking unto Jesus.” Isaac Ambrose asserted “that the whole of man’s happiness is in this one gospel duty, Looking unto Jesus. Richard Sibbes said the whole of the Christian minister’s job is to “always be tending somewhat toward Christ.”
Has modern Christendom become too sophisticated to desperately linger long over the word of God begging for a glimpse of the His glory in the face of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4, 6)? If so, God help us, for we have lost the one grand privilege that the angels would never forgo (Matt. 18:10).