Friday, December 11, 2009

Religious people

This is taken from today's entry in Forward Day By Day. The passage is Matthew 23:27-39.

"What follows is written only to religious people. If you are a secularist or an atheist, stop reading now. This is not for your eyes.

I'm very devout and I'm known for it. People aren't invited to write for this publication unless they're known to be devout. We devout people are particularly susceptible to certain sins. Other people occasionally wallow in those sins as well, but we're more likely to. First among the sins of the devout is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. It's talking that talk but not walking the walk. it's reciting the creeds and the prayers, then behaving as if they don't mean anything. It's going to church not to have our petty prejudices changed, but to have them confirmed and made to look respectable. It's religion that starts on Sunday and ends on Sunday. It's looking good rather than being good.

Jesus didn't say much to notorious sinners. Presumably, he disliked their behavior, but he rarely mentioned it. It was the devout who bore the brunt of his anger. Why do you suppose that was?"

This was an excellent meditation and certainly hit home for me. I suppose the greatest danger in reading it was to think of all those other people I believe it applied to rather than thinking of myself and my failures.

Good food for thought for today.

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