Behind the Mask

“I think many of us are in the position of the greeks who approached the apostle Philip and said ‘we’d like to see Jesus’… and the core question is… how badly? I believe the spiritual genius Anthony de Mello once said, ‘the sign of authentic Christian maturity is when you’re grateful for your sins, because sins lead to grace.’ Genuine humility leads to a fascination with God. With his beauty, with his goodness, with his holiness, which is his love. And to the extent that my eyes are fixed on God, on Jesus, I totally forget about myself. The real difference in the American Church is not conservatives, liberals, fundamentalists, charismatics, but it’s the aware and the unaware. To live in the awareness of God’s love, maintain a calm in the presence of pressure, they are not shattered by a word of criticism. This sounds crazy but it’s more important to be loved than to love. Because when you don’t have the experience of being loved then ministry becomes a chore, an obligation, you can become resentful, which easily leads to burnout and leaving the ministry. The impostor is the slick, sick, and subtle impersonator of my true self… who wants only to be liked, admired, approved, accepted, to fit in. It’s a point of maturity in your life to accept the impostor, because it’s a part of my real self. And if I cannot accept the impostor and all the falseness and all the phoniness, all the pretense, and all the game-playing the impostor goes through, then I can never really accept myself… as a man of strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices, a broken man who’s desperately in need of a Savior. So there comes a point, after discovering [him]… I wrote him a long letter. A letter of accepting him and bringing him to Jesus, where immediately he starts to shrink. So now I named him Peewee.”

Brennan Manning, The Imposter, sermon notes.

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