Monday, February 9, 2015

Vain Glory

The news is carrying the story of Brian Williams and his exaggeration of an incident in the 2003 Iraqi war. That news report is now jeopardizing his news anchor position.  Also, my friend Paul Prather wrote an article in our Sunday paper about "The Sniper."  Paul read the book and has seen the movie.  In his book, the Sniper exaggerated some parts of his story.  I suspect that all of us have exaggerated parts of our stories at times.  We've described situations either better or worse than they were in reality.  We exaggerate in order to make ourselves look good so others will be impressed with us.  Exaggeration is a form of vain glory.  Vain glory is one of the eight deadly obsession described by the 4th century Church "father," Evagarius.  Vain glory is being focused on how I'm appearing to others.  We are being infected with vain glory when we begin to wonder if the other person or persons are impressed with our wisdom, skill, looks, etc.  Vain glory is a subtle, yet dangerous, attitude.  The scripture says that the truth will set us free.  If Brian Williams and the Sniper had simply told the truth, we would have probably still been impressed with their work and they would be free of all these questions their accuracy and integrity.  Indeed, it is the truth that will set us free.