Gleanings (12/08/11) – Whoa to Avoid the Woe

Matthew 23:13-26

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; those you ought to have done without neglecting the others.”

“Woe” to those who major in minors. Ugh! How unfortunate! Because majoring in minors is so easy to do. I’ve known a few people who could not have known the bible better and simultaneously who could not have practiced its central teaching less. One man struggled a bit with the realization he knew the gospel was about mercy but could not bring himself to extend mercy to anyone. He measured everyone by the law and they were found wanting. Too bad for them. Give them what they deserve. It was the spec and log thing.

For a season I majored in minor through laboring daily to build a successful church. Unfortunately it was at the neglect of my family. I was blind to the weightier matters. He called me to be a husband. He called me to be a father. He never called me to build a “successful” church. Oops. Gain the world and forfeit your soul comes to mind.

It is so easy do. Why? Because it’s not choosing evil over good. It is more subtle. It is choosing good over best. Note Jesus said they ought to be tithing from their harvest (good) but not at the neglect of the weightier matters (best). So woe awaits the man who religiously drops his offering in in the plate but doesn’t love his wife as much as Christ loves the church. Woe awaits the woman who never misses her bible study but through gossip destroys the reputation of her neighbor.

Holy Spirit come! Transform us that we live in a way and at a pace that achieves the good without forsaking the best. Give us hearts capable of discerning the difference in the two.

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