Love is pretty inside and out

by Craig on August 4, 2011


Matthew 23:27,28

…like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean…you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

We think of Jesus always as that meek, gentle, sweet guy…
who healed everybody and forgave from dawn to dawn.
That’s fine, because that’s who Our Lord is.
But he is also a sword of judgment,
and was always especially tough on the people who should’ve known better.

This whole chapter of Matthew contains a total dressing down of the religious leaders of the time. He called them hypocrites. They wore a mask of righteousness to hide their true face.

The sad thing is that they didn’t begin this way.
They started out in the Exile…

when after centuries of repeated warnings,
Israel had totally lost her way,
and was incapable of finding a way back.

And the Promised Land was lost – and they were Exiled first to Assyria then to Babylon.

It was in this time of Exile when the people of Israel understood they had been given much and had fallen greatly. And it seems they decided they would never fall this way again.

The Pharisees, who by the day of Jesus were a wicked lot…
had their start in this “never again” moment in Exile…

They became the keepers of the law of Moses…

But by the time of Our Lord’s earthly ministry they were made up all pretty on the outside…

but ugly inside…

and would warn against eating make up…

only because it violated one of their rules…

for them, Jesus reserved the harshest words of judgment.

But then, we all have our secrets.
I know I have mine.
I like my goodness advertised in neon lights…
but my darker stuff hidden in the closet.

Today’s Love is one that climbs out of the realm of the theoretical…
and into the realm of the practical…
and I practice it all. day. long.

I’d heart if I wasn’t alone in doing this – so if you’d like to join in it’s really simple…

Today is pretty inside and out day.


My questions…just two:

What’s a really damaging – but secret sin of mine?
And what’s a secret sin that hardly seems worth the notice – but it’s there?

I will do neither today,
all day,
perfection of all behavior, all the time, is impossible in this life…
but for one day…
for two particular imperfections…
that’s not so impossible.

And I’ll be praying for help against them in the future,
and nobody needs to know the specifics but me  – and God.

Who needs a mess inside that’s all pretty only on the outside?

Love is just as eager to do the right thing in secret as when people are around.

Today I love in this one small manner…

all. day. long.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruthiey August 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

I’ve been thinking about that. How I don’t like to write down what my “secret” sins are because it seems to make them more real. It brings them out of hiding, but that’s a good thing because then God can deal with them. He already knows!
Good post!


Craig August 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Ruthiey, I remember hearing someone speak once about how much less we might sin if our sins were plastered behind us on a billboard – that everyone could see them. Because all – ALL of us behave better when we know other Christians can see. And sometimes we get fooled into thinking that if other Christians can’t see – then somehow God can’t see. And I shake my head as I write this – because what I just wrote is so unbelievable – yet what I described has been me sometimes. Anyway – God bless and keep you Ruthiey.


Dawn August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Dear Craig,

I have one issue that I have vowed to delete for two weeks. That was a week ago. I have one week to go. I have not been perfect, but I have been very very alert and “on it” most of the time!

This is a good challenge, kinda like a mini-Lent,
God bless,


Craig August 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

wow – deleting an issue for two weeks – I feel like such a baby doing my loves one day at a time. It’s so much easier to be perfect for one day then two weeks – I found that the days add up though. The more days I choose – intentionally – to love – the more I love without even thinking about it. Good for you in your mini Lent. I find that kind of inspiring. God bless and keep you Dawn!


A. August 9, 2011 at 6:43 am

smiling at the ‘mini lent’ idea!


A. August 9, 2011 at 6:43 am

Again, heart that first photo’s message…so true…so funny. Craig, what you said in response to Ruthie about thinking that if we hide our sins from others then God can’t see it, either both made me laugh at the absurdity of it and sober at the serious truth of it. I pictured a person running around with a bucket over his head thinking no one could see him. When I was a kid, it was really, really hot where I lived in the summer, but when I was frightened of the ‘boogey man’, I would cover my head with something even when it was too hot to cover my whole body, when I was in bed at night. Makes me laugh to think of how nuts that is!


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