Do you worry about presenting a good image to others? Do you work to make yourself look good when interacting with others? Do you dress yourself up, put on a smile, and change your language? Are you full of turmoil, anxiety, and fear on the inside?
Our culture has become a culture of image. We spend money, time, and effort making ourselves look good. It is all about appearances. We strive to look like those we see on television. We have become fake.
Please do not misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with dressing appropriately. However, when we neglect what is on the inside, we have neglected what is most important. There is only one way to clean ourselves from the inside out—following Jesus.
Jesus chastises the leaders of Israel in today’s passage for doing what our culture does. They spent more time and energy in trying to make themselves look good than they did trying to follow God. Jesus continues in the next few verses by calling them “whitewashed tombs.” They were dead on the inside while presenting an image of being righteous.
God is concerned about our hearts, minds, and souls. He desires us to be concerned about them as well. This is key to remember—when our hearts, minds, and souls are clean, we radiate a goodness that far exceeds the way we dress. Ugliness or beauty both come from the same place—hearts, minds, and souls. They are displayed in our attitudes and behaviors. We can mask them with clothing, but they always shine through. If we want to be beautiful people, we need to start with the inside, cleaning it out and filling ourselves with Jesus.
I pray we all seek to clean ourselves from the inside out. I pray we follow Jesus. I pray each one of us asks God to help us clean our hearts, minds, and souls of turmoil, anxiety, and fear. Clean up the inside. Be beautiful on the inside. Show your beauty in your attitude and behavior. Follow Jesus. Ask God to help.
Matthew 23:25-26 “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.”