February 18, 2018
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Yikhwan Dillard, Campus Program Coordinator, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership
A few weeks ago, I watched a film called Kung Fu Panda 3. (I know, I know). The movie was entertaining and was full of wisdom-packed one liners. One of the most memorable lines I remember was near the end, when the main character's father was exposed for lying to his son. What we know is that the lie was purely out of love. By lying, he genuinely thought he could save his son from facing the powerful villain. Nevertheless, he was met with disappointment from his son, which left him with a sense of shame and sadness. In his broken state, his friend, knowing the full story, offered these words of comfort, “Sometimes, we do the wrong things for all the right reasons.”
As true as this line is, I think the opposite is as true. Sometimes, we do the right things for all the wrong reasons. In the Scripture, we see the spiritual leaders fall into the trap of self-centeredness. Though their spiritual disciplines and pieties were presumably "right", their motives were wrong. In every season of Lent, I wonder about this paradigm. I attribute this to the age-old SPU question of, "what are you giving up for Lent?" Nothing. The point of Lent is not about giving up something nor is it about spiritual disciplines. It is about preparation. We pray, fast, confess, and repent in order to prepare for the resurrection of our Lord. Right intentions first, then the right acts. In this order, and probably with some prayer and the wisdom of our community, I believe we can do the right things for the right reasons this season.