Consider the natural human longing to be loved and admired, how deep it runs in you. It is practically an aching abyss. Remember how rare it is for love and admiration to come to any soul in this jealous world. Now, add to this poverty the insight that very gifted people actually have a greater need for affirmation than most (it’s true). You begin to feel how intoxicating it is to have thousands of people holding their breath for the next word you have to speak.

Now, mix into this high-altitude experience two other seductions. Given the horrible things that do go on in the name of Jesus Christ, it is deeply seducing among Christian leaders to come across way too humble and hip and genuine for that. While at the same time it is rather nice to have your audience think you are so very cool for having introduced them to such a cool Jesus. Heroin and pornography are child’s play compared to this stuff.

Jesus cuts to the heart in one sentence:

He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. (John 7:18)

Ouch.

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