Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. — Matthew 23:23 NIV
Politics can be vicious, ruthless, and just plain dirty. Running for office, even staying in office, has become a cutthroat business. So it is nice when we see our politicians doing something for the less fortunate. Still, we may find ourselves questioning their motives. Only the Lord knows their hearts.
Doing good in order to appear good is exactly what the Pharisees did, and Jesus called them out on it. He knew, for instance, that they gave their tithe simply so everyone would see and praise them, and then they neglected the more important aspects of being God’s people: the practice of justice, mercy, and faithfulness in their everyday lives, even when no one was looking. What hypocritical behavior! But…
What do you and I do or not do when no one is looking?
Does the practice of justice and mercy contribute to the peace God wants us to know?
Lord, help me to not only do the right thing when all eyes are upon me but also when no one except You will see. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from 365 Devotions for Peace, copyright Zondervan.
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Think back to a time when you knew in your heart that you were doing good purely to look good in front of others. It probably felt good. But, how much more valuable it would have been to do that good thing in private and be rewarded by God in eternity instead! Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4 deeds done for others’ approval nets exactly that — just that momentary pleasure. Today, let’s pay attention to whose pleasure we’re seeking and focus on the audience of One! Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily