Motivation

At some point I’m going to have to go into why I chose to label myself a hypocrite.  Honestly, I’ve always hated that word.  I feel that it is too often used as a judgement and as an excuse for why following Christ is shallow at best and shameful at worst.

Hypocrisy, I believe, is in the eye of the beholder.  Since no one apart from God can see what is in our hearts, there’s really no way of knowing whose heart is “pure and contrite.”

The fact that not many people in my life would call me a hypocrite tells me very little about my dedication to following Jesus.  It tells me a little bit about how well I’ve learned to “talk-the-talk” as they say.

It reminds me of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.  They were looked to as having all the answers.  They were thought to have a direct line to the heart of God.

However, as I was reading today (10:30 pm actually… still not sold on the early morning thing… we’ll see) I saw that Jesus had a very different reaction to the Pharisees.

I’m still in Mark 8.  Don’t rush me!  So, this comes right after Jesus had fed thousands of people.  People who he had compassion on…  Correction: People on whom he had compassion.  How does that sound?

Mark 8:11 “They (the Pharisees) asked him for a sign from heaven… He sighed deeply and said, ‘Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign?  I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.'”

First off… “He sighed deeply.”  I love that.  I can feel that feeling like my kids have just asked for the twenty-third time if we can go get some ice cream.

Second, didn’t he just give a sign like three verses ago?  Why the change of heart?

Here’s what I see.  The hungry flash-mob seems to want be close to this Jesus that they have heard so much about.  They are so interested in seeing him and hearing what he has to say they forget that they have no way of getting any food.  The Pharisees on the other hand have a completely different Motivation.  They were there to question Jesus, to test him.  Ultimately, we find later, they really want to trick him into saying something they can use against him.

Bottom line?  Jesus knows my heart.  He knows my motivation.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad in my case, but there it is.  The good news is that he is also able to change my heart, to transform my mind.

If I’ll let him.

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