Monday, October 28, 2013

Modern Day Pharisee

A few years ago my friend Jim preached a message that hit pretty close to home. As I was exiting church he stood at the entrance and as I shook his hand I said, "You know if you are going to talk exclusively to me you might as well send the rest of these people home." 

I have more faults and shortcomings then this blog or all the blogs of the world could contain. One thing, however, I don't lack is introspection. The ability to be honest not just with others but with myself. On Sunday morning I don't assume that the minister is talking about the person behind me.

One thing among many I enjoy about our church is our ministers often rail about religious behavior. Of course it still exists in our church and I am pretty sure it does in yours as well.

What are the signs of religious behavior for you? Is it judgment of others who are not on a perceived spiritual level? Maybe because they have not missed church in ten years, or never go a day without reading the scriptures. Is it being comfortable with how the service should be conducted? How about when someone puffs up their chest and brags about how many people they have led to the Lord? The list is endless.

What I notice is not what they have it is what they often lack, and that is warmth. I see no benefit in cold religious behavior.  Jesus must not have either considering the company he kept. One thing I love about God is the people He chose to do the greatest works through. Flawed people who made big mistakes like David or my favorite Peter. Why did He not choose those who lived an exemplary life? The good religious folks of the day. He knew the scarred, flawed, mistake prone person would realize how much they needed Him on an intimate personal basis. They knew that they could not perform their way to relationship with Him. They knew they were lost without Him.

I have spent most of my life terribly lost but I always respected and appreciated those that radiated God's love. You could just see and feel this warmth inside of them and I knew they possessed something I did not. They had the light of God and with that comes love, caring, compassion, tenderness, and a desire to walk humbly with their Father.

We all have our bad days but if we are not walking with a visible warmth that sets us apart perhaps it is time to reevaluate and realize just maybe the minister's words are not for the person seated behind you.


1 comment:

  1. Titus 2:2
    2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.