Standing Up While Sitting Down
A mother was driving to school one day, and her youngest child was standing in the seat beside her. Realizing the danger, she said to him, "Sit down, dear, I may have to stop suddenly and you'll be thrown against the windshield."
"No!" the little boy refused.
"Please sit down, dear, I don't want you to get hurt," the mother insisted.
"No!" came the stubborn reply.
Finally, she reached over and pulled him down. He sat there sullenly for a moment, then said, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside."
How often we respond to authority that way. We submit to it on the outside, but inside we're saying, "I resent it."
Or, outwardly, to other people, we may appear to be complying with God's commandments and living a holy life, but inwardly we are imagining or planning evil.
Our Lord rebuked the Pharisees for this problem: "When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised. Then the Lord said to him, 'Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?'" (Luke 11:37-40, NIV).
On several occasions, Jesus warned, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" He had patience and compassion concerning human failure, but he greatly detested hypocrisy. He said, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men" (Mark 7:6-7, NIV).
Like the Pharisees, there is a danger in becoming engrossed in religious form and the traditions of men and neglecting the commandments of God and obeying Him. Many rituals in the church today are nothing more than the traditions of men. But by "religiously" following them, people have a false sense that they are pleasing to God, even though during the week many church attendees are involved with immoral, unethical or other questionable practices.
Let us make sure that, like the little boy, we are not sitting down on the outside and standing up on the inside!
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.