He Confronted the Religious

Sunday, June 26, 2011

**This post is part of the current series "Who Was Jesus?  Practical Ways to Teach Our Children About Who Christ IS"  You can find the entire series linked up here when we are done.**

How often have we found ourselves driving on the freeway only to be passed by someone going so much faster than the speed limit allows. Dangerously fast. Cutting in and out of traffic. I don't know about you, but my initial thought is usually "I hope there is a police officer up there so they get caught!!"

But what if the car that passed you was racing to take their young child to the hospital in order to save their life?  If you only knew that, what would your initial thought be then? I know I would pull over and get out of the way! I would probably even pray that they made it safely and that the child would be ok.

What is the ultimate purpose of any law?  To maintain order, right?  In Mark 2:23-28, the Pharisees take issue with Christ picking grain on the Sabbath.  They were questioning His non-conformance to THEIR religious standards concerning the Sabbath.  Christ reminded them that even King David ate when he was hungry, even if it meant that they had to work to get the food they needed in order to survive.  The Pharisees were revered because of their religious nature.

However, Jesus could see them for what they were.  "....You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

It doesn't matter how many times we pray.  Because even the Pharisees prayed. It doesn't matter how many times we go to church. Because the Pharisees were ALWAYS in church. It doesn't matter how many Sunday School classes we teach, or if we are in the choir, or how many mission trips we've been on, or how many service projects we've done.

When we have a judgemental nature, we become like the Pharisees.
So how do we teach our children about hypocrisy? How do we teach them to avoid having pious, judgemental, critical, or prideful attitudes? First, we need to examine our own lives and compare them to those that Christ considered the most hypocritical. We can do that by asking ourselves these tough questions....
1. Do I ask my children to pray, when they do not see me pray?
2.  Do I ask our children to respect their father (or mother), when they see me being disrespectful?
3.  Do I ask my children to do their chores with a good attitude, when they see me complaining?
4.  Do I tell my children that they may not watch a certain show based on bad ethics, only to watch what I want later?
5.  Do I tell my children not to gossip, but what do they hear me talking about on the phone?
6.  Do our actions follow our words?  Do we tell our children that they shouldn't play video games all day when we are blogging, facebooking, or on our Iphone all day?
7.  Do your children hear you talking about setting priorities and putting God first, but see you sleeping in instead of having quiet time or reading a magazine instead of the Bible?

Father God, I pray that you align my priorities!  I pray that my actions and my words and my heart are one for You.  I pray that You help me teach my children to recognize when they are becoming hypocritical in their relationship with you and more importantly, that you help me recognize when I am becoming hypocritical so that I can stop and turn myself around to become closer to YOU!  In Jesus name, amen!


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