not better than nothing

Matthew 24:45-51
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed’, 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The hypocrite thinks that saying the right thing or looking right counts for something. It doesn’t. The wicked servant in this parable is thrown into hell where the hypocrites are. We may think that it’s the doing of an action that counts, and the proper motivation is just a bonus. For example, at work I might have a project to do that I don’t want to do, but I just grit my teeth and get it done. Compared to another project that I enjoy as I complete, the end result is the same - the job got done and that’s what matters. That might work in the office but not in marriage - taking my wife out for a meal because I know I should, gritting my teeth and putting up with it to get the job done? Something tells me that wouldn’t be appreciated! Our relationship with God is more like a marriage than an employer. He is concerned with our motivations far more than our actions. 

Am I a hypocrite? Do I think that just getting prayer or bible study or service is worth something? Do I ignore the problem that I don’t want to do any of those things? Do I recognise myself in many of the descriptions of the hypocrite but think that at least the hypocrite is doing something, and that’s better than doing nothing? Jesus makes it clear that it isn’t. 

The answer is not to try and make yourself want to do these things, it is to recognise that the fact you don’t want to is a problem in the heart. Forget about trying to discipline yourself into holiness for a minute and consider God’s grace. His grace that covers the attitudes and motivations in your heart as well as the things you do. The cross has dealt with it. Jesus died for you hypocrisy. You are free.

hypocrites series