Saturday, June 18th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 40)
Righteousness In Church
Who can say, 'I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin'?
Proverbs 20:9 (NKJV)
Self-righteousness in church can be deadly. It confuses entire congregations and dissuades outsiders from meeting Christ. Bitter fruits like pride, contempt and judgment lie beneath artificial sweeteners. Herds of sheep get used to the sweet-sour taste. But it's unpalatable for many who leave the church and refuse to come back.
Probably, you've already rejected this 'Holier than thou' (Isaiah 65:5) combination, because it calls Satan to the table. 'You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons' (1 Corinthians 10:21).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You carry God's sustenance within you: the Bread of Life can never be beat. The fruit you give away to others is love, joy, peace, patience and kindness; goodness, faithfulness and gentleness--with soothing self-control in the mix.
When American mouths chose junk food, a lot of nothing that tasted good, did our minds choose junky ideas? A lot of nothing that sounded good?
Did American churches convince us that we were good and righteous, too? That our status as 'Joint heirs with Christ' (Romans 8:17) excuses us from humility and establishes us as judges? Of Target or the gay man next door?
'There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One Who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?' (James 4:12). Jesus says we're supposed to love him.
Self-righteousness is the food of fools. Compassion is the food we must share. 'Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins' (Proverbs 10:12).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.