Sunday, March 22, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 73)

Jesus said, “Hypocrite! First of all remove the beam from your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye.”
— Matthew 7:5 (USC)
Hypocrisy is not something any of us want to be accused of. None of us is enamoured of the antithesis of integrity.
Courage is to integrity, as cowardice is to hypocrisy. The hypocrite is too afraid to conform to the truth. Indeed, they are too afraid that their ‘truth’ is a lie. They prefer the comfortable situation of remaining unchallenged, though life inevitably challenges them and, ultimately, they are rent asunder — undone by some thing or other. But the person of integrity is willing to die to lay claim to the truth. They see the living of a lie as a death worse than dying. Being that they are willing to die for the truth, God rarely requires that of them, but they are no less willing.
Those with integrity — those who have received Christ’s call on their lives — form themselves into the unity of the gospel demand. They hear the Holy Spirit say to them, “You must trust and obey your Lord Jesus in order to make faith possible, and only through faith is it possible to please God.” But the postmodern church rarely wants to put faith in such terms as obedience. It always seems ‘too hard’. We will have to if we have integrity. Having integrity means reading the unison of Scripture and being of one mind and heart with how to abide by it.
It is the surest sign yet of a person without integrity that they see and experience truth only through their observation of others, whilst their own truth goes begging because they are fearful of approaching it. Honest self-observation is only for the person of integrity. The man or woman with integrity start first with themselves. They have no time to judge another person, for God is never finished engorging them with improvement opportunities. And their growth opportunities are not just hard-to-digest things. They enjoy much of their learning. Their learning is a symbol of their humility and their courage; the ardency of their commitment to truth.
We can trust the person who is honest with themselves, but we have no such faith in the one who is never comfortable within themselves.
Be the one you have become and you will be won to the one you have become.
To others, ourselves, and God we are received; everyone loves the person of integrity.
Integrity is the brush that paints in strokes of truth. But hypocrisy paints a picture of bewildering deceit and of division. Integrity, alone, is trustworthy.
1.     How will we know we are closer to integrity than hypocrisy?
2.     What hypocrisy do you struggle with?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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