Just a Thought: Are you ceremonial, or spiritual?
OK, Ok; what I mean is: What do you really give the most attention to? Not what do you wish you did, but what do you really do?
Going to church on Sunday: Check! (Well, mostly).
Wearing the right church clothes: Check!
Putting on the all-is-well smile: Check!
Carry your Bible: Check! (well, sometimes).
Appear Christian–like: Check!
Talk spiritual lingo: Check!
Let everyone know you’re spiritually all together (at least on the outside): Check!
Be friendly like you really like the people and want to be there (at least until noon): Check!
Keep your reputation intact: Check!
Wait a minute! Aren’t these good things?
Not to God. In fact, if these are the important things to you, then that makes you ceremonial, but not spiritual. The listed were the important things to the Pharisees of Jesus day (and ours) but not to God, who looks into the heart. God wants a relationship based on honesty, intimacy and integrity, and He is not fooled at all by our ceremony. “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.’ You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?” (Luke 11:39-40).
Just like when you get a dish or a glass to use, you check the inside as well as the outside – God does the same when He inspects us — He looks from the inside out.
What is He seeing when He looks in you?
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at email@example.com.