Wash the dishes

“Woe to you, Pharisees. You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean”    Matthew 23:25-26

Jesus was sternly talking to the Pharisees about their wrong perception of what God expects. They believed if they just did all the right things that they would be impressing God, then in turn would receive His favor. But Jesus is pointing out to them that they need to work on the insides, not just what they do, or how they appear.

I know many people who go to church without fail, wear a cross necklace, and read their bibles, and still can be selfish or even mean. I recall my first semester at a very good seminary (Christian graduate school for ministers). My wife and I were moving to another apartment in town. We didn’t have much stuff, but I rented a truck anyway to haul everything we boxed and some furniture. The complex we lived in was filled with seminary students. So I asked several of them if they could give me 30 minutes to load the heavier furniture. I got no takers. These want-to-be pastors were all very honest with me about why they didn’t want to help; “I have exams next week”, “I have to get ready for dinner”, “I don’t have time, I’m preparing a sermon”(I wonder if the sermon was on helping others in need?)

I chalked it up to a great lesson, and pondered if I was like that. Was I studying to just know the bible and come across as a good guy? Or was I truly allowing God to change me on the inside? Am I willing to look for the needs of others, or am I  “full of self-indulgence and greed”? Were there areas of my private life and thoughts that I just covered up?

The answer for all of us is YES. I knew I needed to start the life long battle of allowing God in to change my deepest ‘stuff”.  I look back and have never regretted starting to talk to Him about my ‘private person’. I still continually confess to Him and plead with Him to put more distance between my wrongs. To change my personal world from the inside-out.

Billy Graham once said, “A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip”.


Heavenly Father, I give You my inner ‘junk’ to work on. Change me from the inside-out. Remind me to confess, not cover up. Remind me to ask You to change me, not just  get better at hiding my flaws. Show me to serve, not self-indulge. Thank You that all this is worth it! In Jesus Name. Amen.

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