attention to the wrong details

Matthew 23:23-24
23  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

The hypocrite has great attention to detail, but only the details that suit them. The hypocrite in this example makes sure that he gives 10% of his spices to God while remaining unconcerned about loving God and loving others. The hypocrite thinks that legalism pleases God, or that obedience in one area offsets disobedience in another. 

Am I a hypocrite? Do I have certain things that I make sure I do, while ignoring God’s call to obedience on every area of my life? Do I think that as long as I turn up to church on time and give in the offering, then the shouting match I have with my wife and kids on the way to church every week doesn’t matter? Do I think that I am earning credit with God that I can spend elsewhere? Do non-Christians see me as someone who doesn’t drink, smoke or swear but is generally not very nice to people? 

The solution is not just to add justice, mercy and faithfulness to the top of your list, ahead of organising your spice rack. The solution is to reflect on God's justice, His mercy and his faithfulness. This will affect our priorities. You might still tithe your spices, but you will also love others as you have been loved by God.

hypocrites series