Meanderings of a Minister


Five Easy Ways to Wreck Your Life, Part 5 (Matthew 23:29-33)
February 16, 2011, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Articles

Courtesy of PowerpointSermons.com

Part 5,  Fake It

This is the fifth and final installment of a series of articles aimed at helping us make decisions and changes in life that will draw us closer to God and to His will for our lives.  In the last four articles, we have looked at Matthew 23 and Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees and, through analyzing what He was critical about, have seen things to avoid in our own lives as we strive to live for and love Him.

In the first week, we said an easy way to wreck your life was to change for the sake of change and without any kind of goal or aim in mind.  The second way was just as “wreckful”:  change inconsistently.  Go one direction and then another and never persevere or complete anything.  Just go with the flow and let the wind blow you where it may.  Last week was related to this week in that we said you could easily wreck your life by changing things that don’t matter.  Just deal with trivial matters that no one cares about and you can spin your wheels and wreck into the snowbank of expectations.  Last week, we said it would be equally destructive if only looked at the outside to make changes.  The Pharisees were described as concerned with the outer cleanliness demanded of the law while ignoring the inside.  We would do well to address both/and and not either/or.

Lastly, we read Matthew 23:29-33 and see that the Pharisees were basically fakes.  Jesus had called them hypocrites throughout this chapter.  The word ‘hypocrite’ comes from a Greek word, which means playacting.  It means to act one way while really feeling and intending another.  They thought that if they faked being concerned about people, it counted.  They thought that if they acted as though righteousness was really important to them, people would believe it and, since they were more interested in pleasing people than in pleasing God, they thought they had accomplished their lives.

Before we define this further, allow me to say what I am not saying.  I am not saying that sometimes Spiritual disciplines are not going to feel like a drudgery.  I am also not saying that it will always be exciting and gratifying to serve God…in the moment.  Sometimes, we need  to push on, even though we struggle to get our hearts to come along for the ride.  This is not the same thing as Jesus was criticizing.  A heart that is desperately seeking to love God more and more, but just isn’t feeling “close to Him” is an entirely different matter than the person that is only concerned with appearing like they are living for God.

Having given the bookends for the discussion, how would a person know if they were guilty of faking it?  I am glad you asked!  The problem is that the Holy Spirit, Who knows us better than we know ourselves, will let us know, if we belong to Christ.  If not, then we probably don’t care anyway.  Perhaps some diagnostic questions might assist in searching our hearts: 

  1. What is your first thought when serving at church?  Of God, others or yourself?
  2. Do you ever look at some other Christian and think you would like to be like them?
  3. Do you pursuit what they are doing or who they are?
  4. When was the last time you were broken over someone’s need?
  5. When was the last time you were excited for someone to grow in Christ?

If you want to wreck your life, just fake it.  Be loud about what you would do, if YOU ran the church.  Be bold about what you COULD do, if people would just listen.  Be vocal about what MIGHT happen, if you stepped up to serve.  Be quick to shift blame on to others when feeling convicted that you might not be living right.  Oh, and, by the way, never, never, never, never, NEVER show weakness.  Make other people think you have it all together, whether it is true or not.

 

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