Flattery of Men
The following true story is from the life of Louis XIV of France: One Sunday when he and his royal party arrived at church, no one was there except Archbishop Fenelon, the court preacher. Surprised to see all the vacant seats the King inquired, “Where is everybody? Why isn’t anyone else present this morning?” The minister answered “I announced that Your Majesty would not be here today, because I wanted you to see who came to the service just to flatter you and who came to worship God.”
Most people do not have opportunities to be in meetings where such dignitaries are in attendance. Yet many of them go to church for reasons other than communing with the Lord, enjoying Christian fellowship, and being instructed from the Word. They may not be there to impress royalty, but their motives for coming are just as vain and selfish. Some think it’s good for business or that it enhances their social standing. Others put in an appearance to display their piety, and some merely attend out of a sense of duty. But not one of these actions truly brings honor to God.