"All Hat No Cattle"
The old cowboy idiom “all hat, no cattle” was popularized by President George W. Bush as he brought Texas folksiness to the White House. It’s a colorful way to level criticism on someone who is more concerned with how they look than what they do. It’s an age old problem amongst us who call ourselves “good” Christians, and one that John the Baptist addressed when observing the Pharisees and Sadducees.
You see when any of us operate out of our own self-interest (and “better than thou” sinfulness) it doesn’t take long to become enamored with the trappings and traditions of recognition. Clothes that make us stand out in a crowd as righteous, special greetings, preferred seating at church events, the spotlight shining on us as we’re introduced at a service or in a Bible class. I understand that this doesn’t apply to everyone, but please be honest with yourself the next time you find yourself wishing it was you getting the special recognition for how holy and righteous you are.
Recognition isn’t a bad thing. We all appreciate it when our work is acknowledged in some way, whether large or small. It’s when we crave recognition whether we’ve actually done anything or not that we are at risk of leaving behind God’s call to serve and work, only to have ourselves applauded.
The greater condemnation from Christ isn’t reserved for those who do nothing, but for those who make themselves out to be great in the eyes of the Lord while making a pretense of doing something for their Lord or others. Today consider where you might be pretending in your faith. Then, humble yourself before God and others while you get out and round up some lost sheep.
© 2013 Family of Christ Lutheran Church
16345 Polk St. NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304 | Phone: 763-434-7337 | firstname.lastname@example.org