“You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. …First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”Matthew 23:25-26
I’m a compulsive list-maker. It’s how I stay focused and make sure I accomplish a few tasks each day. I like things to be clean and orderly, but I also like the feeling of “checking the boxes.” It tells me that I’ve achieved something, that I’ve been worthwhile. In love, the Holy Spirit has been taking me to task on my priorities lately. He has shown me that I often place more value on a clean house than on a clean heart, and that I had made my spiritual disciplines—prayer and reading God’s Word—just another item on my to-do list. I see how He’s reordering my priorities and even taking some things off my list!
The Pharisees and teachers of the law were list-makers, too, and they loved checking their boxes. It made them feel more worthy. Jesus showed them that they were trying to clean the outside of their “house” through the law, while neglecting the filth inside their hearts. He wanted to reorder their priorities and change their hearts to know and reflect His love, mercy, and faithfulness. When our hearts need adjusting, He will do the same for us.
David called out, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). His priorities were being reordered!