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Focus Verses: Matthew 23:27-28
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You
are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on
the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
reading this text, it's easy to stand on the sidelines and watch with
smug satisfaction as Jesus comes down hard on the teachers and
Pharisees. We might even catch ourselves chiming in, "Yeah, take that
you hypocrites!" Of course, the minute we do, we betray our own
It's easy to read Scripture and apply it to
others before applying it to ourselves. How quick we are to see the
sins of others, but blind to the same failings in ourselves! Jesus
condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and all the more because
they refused to recognize it. What should we expect Jesus say to us
when we refuse to see our own sin and pretense?
Response and Action:
need to identify and acknowledge the ways I am a hypocrite. I do not
want to say one thing, but do another. I want to be honest, real, and
consistent. I do not want to present myself as better than I am. I want
to be more concerned about what I truly am on the inside than how I
appear to others. I care more about what I am before God than what
others think about me.
have mercy on me, a sinner. You see all my hidden faults and know all
my secret sins. I've got a long way to go in my pursuit of holiness.
Thank you for loving me where I am and giving me the grace and
guidance to rise above my weakness and failure. Help me to live with
humility before you and before the people around me. Help me to love
you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Grant me integrity
that my life might be a proof, not a pretense, of my devotion to you.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Proverbs 11:3
3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.