“Woe to you…hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26.
I am very careful with what I watch leading into nighttime so it will not impact my sleep. The other night while I was watching a show of dancing and entertainment a disturbing situation arose. Every time the show broke for a commercial there was a preview of the late night news showing a minister ranting and raving, spewing so much hate against certain groups that I finally cut the television off. It grieved my heart to know that those who don’t know God would measure a Christian by this man’s hatred of others. This is supposedly a man of God, one whom has been called to demonstrate the love of God and lead others to Him. On the outside he polishes, cleans and maintains his outward appearance of a Christian leader, but on the inside he serves hatred.
How can the spiritually sick see the love of Christ when hypocrisy and prejudice is running rampant all in the name of the Lord? Much like the Pharisees in the days of Jesus, they alienate and isolate people instead of inviting and extending the grace for which Christ gives to all groups of people. We are sinners and all have access to the grace and forgiveness of God. We all have been given the responsibility to minister to others showing the dark world that there is a better way to live – the way of God’s love.
We will be judged by the measuring stick of those we judge. We will be given mercy by the amount of mercy that we extended to others while on earth. ‘Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!’ James 2:12-13.
What good is it when we spend our time polishing the silver for appearance but not offering the fork? We may not be as blatant and vocal as this minister but we should all look inward and allow God to reveal any hypocrisy and contradiction to love that may be hiding in our heart. We will serve to others what lies in our heart.