Master, help me to recognize the hidden choices, easily overlooked, which shape me.
Read: Matthew 24:45-51
 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.  Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.  But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’  and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Reflect: Are you the same person when no one is watching?
Hypocrisy isn’t exclusively reserved for Pharisees. If we’re not careful, any of us can fall into the trap of reserving our best behavior for when others are watching. It’s only human nature. Of course, we want others to think the best of us.
Jesus tells a brief parable to illustrate that consistency matters. He pictures two different servants: One serves his master faithfully always and another only does so when that master is looking. Again, Jesus reminds his followers that no one knows the hour God has appointed for his second coming, but this time Jesus’ focus isn’t urgency but holiness.
Grace means we don’t re-condemn ourselves with every wrongdoing. Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross covers our sins past, present and future. Yet, this story illustrates that our behavior as Christians matters. Jesus wants us to live consistently, around the clock, no matter who is watching.
Matthew 23 begins with Jesus speaking against the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. Chapter 24 closes with him telling those closest to him to avoid this mistake. His followers must acknowledge their brokenness but strive towards perfection.
Make an appointment to talk to a close, trusted friend. Bring light on a struggle that you tend to keep hidden.
Lord, I am Yours. Let me live in integrity and be true to You in all things, seen or hidden.