Monday, December 13, 2004

Whoa to Those Woes!

They must have felt blistered that day. It was the day that Jesus laid his six woes on the Pharisees. He criticized them for their hypocrisy. He confronted them for their concern about portraying the right appearance, while inside being rotten -- full of greed and wickedness. He pointed out how maticulously they tithed from the leaves of their garden herbs -- but they neglected justice and the love of God. He chastised them for competing for the most prominent seats in the synagogue. He compared them to unmarked graves.

Those bad Pharisees! Nothing but hypocrites, right?

But then one of the experts in the Law spoke up. "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also." And it's then that I realized how much I related to him. Because as I read back over those woes, I see too much of myself in what Jesus says. Concerned about appearance more than motive. Keeping nitpicky rules, but missing out on the heart of God. Seeking the approval of men more than the approval of God.

Oh, God! Please break me free from "religion." Crush my heart -- so comfortable with going through motions that have been programmed for a lifetime -- and remold it to be like you!

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