how do I look?

Matthew 23:27-28
27  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

The hypocrite is concerned about external comparisons with others. The tombs Jesus speaks about were whitewashed so that people knew where they were and could avoid them to prevent themselves becoming unclean. They looked good but contained something that would prevent someone accessing the temple and worshiping God. The biggest threat to the hypocrite’s worship is not an external problem to avoid - he is the whitewashed tomb. The greatest barrier between him and God is himself, the impurity is in his heart. 

Am I a hypocrite? Do I take comfort in the fact that other people think I’m righteous? Is comparison with others massaging my pride? Do I push deep issues to the back of my mind because I think my reputation cancels it out? Do I see the greatest problem in my relationship with God as something or someone else other than me? 

If I am a whitewashed tomb, I need to start looking inside, instead of concerning myself with how I look from the outside. I need to recognise that the problem is me, not some external factor. I also need to realise that the solution is not me, but God. Ask God to help me look inside the tomb and the Holy Spirit to start clearing it out.

hypocrites series