Calling on the AirIn what ways have you called on God for direction ?
Top Christian Music Videos
Right Thing, Wrong Reason
But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! (v.20).
I was preaching one evening when a mentally ill man walked down the church aisle, slapped me in the face, pushed over the pulpit, and sent the congregation into a panic. In a protective act, a church member named Gary stepped toward the man as he lunged towards Gary and his wife.
I sent an email to Gary the next day, commending his bravery. “I wasn’t trying to protect anyone,” he replied. “I was scared, tried to run away, and accidentally ran into him.” What had looked like courage had, in fact, been cowardice.
Seemingly “good” deeds can have bad motives. It’s possible to do the “right” thing for the wrong reason. Jesus warned of it. The Pharisees were experts at good deeds. They were trying to keep 248 commandments and 365 restrictions within the expanded Jewish law. But their expertise was in outward conformity rather than purity of heart. They didn’t murder, but they did hate (Matthew 5:21). They didn’t commit adultery but they did lust (Matthew 5:27). They gave to the poor, but they did so to look good (Matthew 6:1). They did the right things for the wrong reasons.
Jesus called His people to a righteousness “better” than this. Deeds matter, but motives matter more. The God who looks at the heart (1 Samuel 1:7) wants love for Him and others to be our only motive (Matthew 22:37).
This calls for some careful reflection, for we can be just as pharisaical today. Instead of freely giving to someone, we can help them in order to get something in return. We can oppose homosexuality out of bigotry rather than true concern for another’s wellbeing. We can donate to charity simply to improve our public image.
The greatest treason is “to do the right thing for the wrong reason,” wrote T. S. Elliot. According to Jesus, love is the remedy.
In what area of your life are you most tempted to do the right thing for the wrong reason? How is love the ultimate remedy?
- Calling on the Air - In what ways have you called on God for direction ?...read more
- Only the Beginning - What hope has God brought you today?...read more
- Disciplined for Freedom - Praise God and display your gratitude to Him today!...read more
- What Will We Become? - What does it mean for you to be God’s masterpiece?...read more
- Taking the Hate - Which portions of the Bible trouble you the most?...read more
- Not a Distant God - Read Romans 8:31-39 to be reminded of the intimate love God has for us....read more
- A Greater Power - Read Jeremiah 31:20-25 and consider the power of God’s restoration...read more
- Anger Management - Read Matthew 5:21-22 to see what Jesus said about anger and sin....read more
- Moving Past Memories - How can experiencing God’s forgiveness for our sin help us to extend grace to others?...read more
- There is Hope - What has caused you to lose hope recently?...read more
- Transformed! - How has God’s power helped you overcome fear?...read more
- Breaking Toward Freedom - Where are you experiencing a need for freedom?...read more
- A Spiritual Powerlift - How are you practicing walking in the power of the Holy Spirit?...read more
- Avoiding Ditches - What distractions are you facing?...read more
- Leading Somewhere Good - How are you seeking to walk with God today?...read more
- Songs in the Night - What’s your favorite worship song?...read more