Inside and Out

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Inside out.

There are some pieces of clothing that come with the instructions to turn the garments inside out before they are to be washed.

The Pharisees and teachers of the law of Jesus’ day needed to be turned inside out. Sometimes, so do we. That act would reveal our true selves as opposed to what we might show to the public.

Jesus, who knew exactly what was going on inside His critics, didn’t mince words when He addressed the issues.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:25-28).

For good reason did David say: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24).

If the Pharisees were aware of the contradiction between what was inside and what was outside, it appears they didn’t want anyone else to be aware of it—certainly not God. It’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t see the difference between what they said and did and what they thought and felt, but lots of people seem to manage it even today. That only emphasizes the importance of following David’s example and asking God daily to search out those things in our lives that offend Him, reveal them, and then lead us away from them onto a better path—that of a life that is clean both inside and out.

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