10/20/10

dirty cup

"The hypocrite is always hoping that people will not find out what his heart is really like. But the believer knows that what is happening on the inside is far more important than what seems to be happening on the outside”. - Philip Ryken


"Hypocrisy is the act of persistently pretending to hold beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually hold. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie."




I came  across this quote and it hit the nail on the head so well I decided to pass it on...and knowing my tendency to over-think things and over-write about them , add some of my own thoughts.  Hypocrites be warned.


Such an ugly word.  A word that is thrown around a lot (unfortunately quite often in malice  by other hypocrites)


  Jesus had very little patience for hypocrites, in fact, he saved  his harshest words for them. 

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You clean the outside of the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  Blind pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."
"on the outside you appear as people of righteousness but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness".


The outer life is cleaned and polished while the heart is a tomb wreaking with death.  We work at trying to clean ourselves up on the surface while ignoring the things that stain us on the inside.  The things we are powerless to change on our own.  The best we can do is polish the surface a little harder.  Make more rules, come up with more good deeds, and do more penance.  Sometimes that makes us hypocrites and sometimes it just means we don't have the right cleanser.  The best we can do on our own is good deeds with sketchy motives. 




I don't like hypocrisy.   Like nails on a chalk board.   It rubs me the wrong way.  
I have little tolerance for phoniness, facades, masks, self righteous legalism, and deception (in case you haven't noticed).


We are all sinners.  We are all screw ups.  Period.  
Thats why we need Jesus.  Period.
Only through him are we made clean...on the inside.


As His cleansing light illuminates those dark places of our hearts the outer life begins to show the results.  It overflows into our lives, our attitudes, our priorities and our actions.    Although it is much easier to sterilize the outer life and ignore the inner.   
With that being said...
  I still stumble.  I trip on my own pride.  I continually scuff my knees on selfishness.   
I need God's grace.


Ultimate  hypocrisy is claiming God's grace but refusing to extend it to others.   We excuse, hide, condone, or deny the sin that rots inside of us.... and  at the same time have our ropes ready to lynch someone else. I'm not talking about condoning or overlooking blatant sin in other believers...that would not be biblical (there is biblical mandate to judge and and lovingly hold to account).  
I'm talking about how we relate to others.  Do we forgive them, love them,  take their hand and help them back up when they fall?  Or do we snear and kick them while they're down.   Assuring them we do not associate with their kind.    
   
 We polish our shoes, tuck in our shirts..... and kick dirt in the face of the leper. 
Do we criticize the scuffs and chips on another cup without ever getting close enough to look inside?


We all want mercy but we all want to dole out justice (or our version of it). 
Justice is a good thing.   So is mercy.   The two  mixed together with wisdom and love...are how we relate to others like Christ.  Sometimes getting the two to coexist is tricky.  Don't confuse justice for malice and bitterness.


As we forgive others we share some of Jesus love with them.




As believers, we are given a new heart.  We have what it takes to clean the inside of the cup....although sometimes we choose to stay dirty.  
Although ultimately freeing, a heart cleansing can be uncomfortable.  Probably right up there with colon cleansing.  A little embarrassing, may cause some unpleasant side effects,  but once the crap is gone...you're a new man.


My new heart loves Jesus and it hates lies.   I hate what the "Father of lies" does to people.    
We are sanctified by truth but we are ruined by deception. 


"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for you brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and enduring word of God  For, 
All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever."  1 Peter 1:22-25






Without sincere love, without genuine honesty, our actions mean nothing.  They are only the motions of a hypocrite.


 My new heart sincerely desires to be purified, to grow up in holiness, to learn, to repent and to change.  


My new heart is NOT anywhere near a  perfect heart...but by the grace of God is can be a pure heart.    
We can choose to give mercy, one sinner to another.   



" Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind." 
1 Peter 2:1


Without intentionally, passionately pursuing the cleansing light of God,  our hearts naturally slip into deception of ourselves and others.   We live in blissful denial of the filth in our own cup.  
The problem with that is -  that filth is  like a cancer to our spirit.   It rots us from the inside out.  It destroys individuals and it destroys families.  




"the believer knows that what is happening on the inside is far more important than what seems to be happening on the outside”


(I just realized that this is a pretty good philosophy for parenting as well. ) 


Fortunately for all of us lying, gossiping, slandering, deceitful, hypocritical, selfish, bitter humans, there is hope.  
.
There is NOT ONE person in the world who wants a clean cup that Jesus would turn away...not even the hypocrite.  








   



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