I want to share something from Romans 2 that jumped out at me yesterday. In verses 17-29, Paul warns about the danger of hypocrisy. It starts at as a poison, blinding us to the needs of others and before we know it we are anything but what we claim to be.
Paul notes that for the Jews that claimed a special relationship to God, because of their relational status as the chosen people, that they must be careful not to let thier boasting become their fall. His most stinging words come in v. 24 when he writes, “as it is written, “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
I got to thinking how many people in the world have cursed God or have been turned off to God because of a Christian’s holier thant thou attitude? How are we doing portraying Christ’s compassion, grace and mercy to the world? To the people in our community, you know the one’s that stink, drink, cuss, and spit? The one’s that Jesus misses the most?
Paul will go on to write that, appearance can be deceptive. “A man is not a Jew if he is one outwardly.” These same people who think of themselves as insiders view their religiousity as grounds for divine acceptance. We do all that we are supposed to do, we go to church three times a week, we read the Bible, pray, and give a tenth of all we have. It is frightening to me that one can be religious thier whole life and miss a relationship with Christ. The externals of religion aren’t as important as what’s on the inside. How is your heart this morning?