I have read of a battle where the flag got far ahead of the soldiers. An officer called back to his superior and asked, “Shall we bring the flag back to the regiment?” “No,” came the reply, “make the regiment catch up with the flag!” The New Testament standard is far ahead of most of the church today. It is true that we have all kinds of people at various stages of spiritual development in our fellowships. But we must yet lower the standard to the poorest level of our membership. When Gideon’s three hundred won their battle the larger numbers who had not joined them in the conflict fell in at last and shared in the victory. We must major on our dedicated minority these days and not accommodate our program to the host who are not ready for spiritual warfare. But we can hope that in the triumph of the faithful few, many of these laggards will change their minds and join us.
Publicizing Our Piety
Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
There is no holiness in a hair shirt or godliness in gunny-sack garments. “To be all out for God you don’t have to look all in.“ The man who advertises his devotional life has not learned the most elementary rule of the devotional life-that it is a strictly private affair between him and his God.
Wearing cheap clothes if one can wear a good suit that will look better and last twice as long is false economy and not even good sense, let alone a mark of deeper holiness. God is not honored by penny-wise and pound-foolish living. We ought not to attract attention either by extravagance or negligence. A man may be trying to publicize his piety by faded garments, while he rails at the brother in fancy garb.
“Moses wist not that his face shone.“ The hypocrites were conscious of a sad face; Moses was unconscious of a shining face. Think it over.