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Foundations For Our Future #84

Foundations for Our Future (84)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Hypocrites

It is a harsh word in our ears, is it not? To be accused of being a hypocrite is deeply disturbing to almost all people. We do not want to even contemplate that the word could apply to us. How is Jesus wanting us to understand this teaching? (Matthew 6:2)

Here the Lord seems to be exposing that most common reality, that we all want to be recognized for the good things we do. In a community that values giving to the needy, we give to the needy, as we believe we should. But it is possible to give, not because we truly care for the needy, but because we want to be seen to care. The reason for our giving is to gain the praise of men. Jesus is showing us that this is not a right motive for the deed. It is actually, he suggests, giving to look good ourselves. It is not a gift to the poor, but a gift to our own self esteem and appearance in the eyes of others.

Our heavenly Father wants us to learn to see others as he sees them. We are to learn to care for them as he cares for them.

As we begin the season of Lent, let our decisions to renew or deepen our personal walk of faith be seen only by God. Let us pray for him to change our hearts to be aligned with his.