Inside Out 5.1.21
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First, wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. (Matthew 23:25–26).
Jesus' indictment of the leaders of Israel is they were more concerned about how they were perceived by others than the state of their heart. They were playing a part. They were actors.
It is a statement we need to listen to also. It is easy to put on a caring face, go to church, an occasional Bible Study, and "play the game." We can sing and "worship" with others and still have a heart that is distant from Him. Many claim to love Jesus but want Him to keep His distance from the way they live their lives.
The counsel of Jesus is to work on the inside and the outside will take care of itself. The way to work on the inside is to spend time with Him. We must read and heed the words of Scripture. We need to reflect and pray. We work to be open to instruction and correction. We look hard at our true motives. These are not easy things. Satan will whisper one excuse after another. He will commend us for looking holy on the outside and suggest all is fine even as our sinful nature eats away at our insides.
Our world needs believers who are not merely "playing a part" but who sincerely and fervently are pursuing intimacy with God. Take a look at your own life . . . examine your heart.