Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Commands of Jesus: Don't Fake It!

A few years ago a young man from our community died. He was a popular kid in is little circle of friends but most in his class just acknowledged his existence. Most were simply acquaintances, not good friends. Yet when this young man died, suddenly EVERYONE was his friend. Really?

I think there is a natural tendency to fake a relationship like that. You see all these people grieving, and the Bible says we are to mourn with those who mourn, but we are not supposed to act like this person who died was our closest friend, simply to get attention or pretend some emotion we don't really have. That's called being a hypocrite.

Jesus does a lot of talking against hypocrites in the Bible. A LOT.

Mainly Jesus spoke against the religious leaders of the time. He called them hypocrites because they "honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me" (Matthew 15:8, see also Isaiah 29:13)

Do you have people like that in your life? How do you feel about them. Mhmm. Few among us like hypocrites. Yet we seem to elect many of them to public office. Go up to someone and ask them if they think there are any hypocrites in Washington D.C. and I bet they're answer will be a resounding "Yes!"

Why is that? Politicians are in a popularity contest come election time. Many keep their TRUE beliefs quite in order to get elected, adopt whatever beliefs are required in any particular moment, all in hopes of gaining power.

Perhaps that is why Donald Trump is leading the Republican field in most polls. He is NOT a politician. In fact, he makes a point of pointing that out, and as a result he is finding favor in many peoples eyes.

And just as Jesus spoke out against the hypocritical religious leaders of His time, we still have many of them with us today. Just turn on the television. Go to most mega churches and you will find pulpits adorned with hypocrites - saying what is popular with their "fans" rather than what is the truth in God's word.

I think what Jesus is really after is for us to examine our motives in the things we say and do. Do we say certain things to make us fit in with the popular crowd? Do we spend our time talking about ourselves in glowing terms instead of revealing the scars?

Recently, a county clerk named Kim Davis, took a stand against issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Regardless of which side you take on this issue, you must admire that she stood up for what she believed to be true, despite the consequences. You may think she is right or wrong but most would agree that she is not a hypocrite.

How do we live OUR lives in this world we live in? Do we sacrifice our beliefs and morals to get ahead? Do we "brown-nose" our bosses to get that promotion we crave so much?

Three times each week I write stories for this blog. I write these stories to honor God, not to please the three followers who might read my stories. My desire is to be honest, not hypocritical. Sometimes people don't like what I write. I always encourage any dissenters to "read your Bible." I don't need to defend God's Word. As spoken word artist Propaganda says in this video, "Defending the Gospel is like defending a lion. You don't need to defend it. Just open the cage."

May we all live lives dipping with honesty. May we never put on a false front simply to gain position or status in someones eyes. The only eyes we should be concerned about pleasing are God's. That is where our TRUE reward can be found.

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." - Matthew 6:16-18

The G.O.S.P.E.L. - Propaganda

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