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Have you ever had a hard and difficult week that culminated with discord between you and your husband (and maybe even your kids) on the way to church, no less? Then, as you walked into the church you put on a ‘smile’ that masked all the words that poured out of your mouth a moment ago?
Before you think I am pointing at you, I want to be honest and say this has happened to me. Too many times to admit!
A big reason I write is because of all the lessons I’ve learned. The hard way!
That being said, I want to share the reasons why you hide behind that ‘smile’ when you are not with your family. We are such hypocrites, aren’t we?!
1. Not Much Different than a Pharisee!
Jesus is known for being kind, gentle, and meek. We overlook how often He cut right to the point when dealing with people.
He was especially direct with the Pharisees and we see them as deserving the sharp manner that Jesus spoke to them.
I mean, after all, they strutted around with an air of pride and with their nose in the air.
They saw themselves above everyone else because they kept the Mosaic Law perfectly.
Prayer tassels dangled from their clothing and the Scriptures were in tiny little boxes tied around their foreheads. (Matthew 23:4)
They considered themselves ‘holier than thou’ compared to any other sect, or person they came in contact with!
They got away with their hypocritical attitudes until Jesus confronted them!
2. Doing Things for Show
I’m not so sure that the Pharisees realized what they were doing. I’ll give them the benefit-of-the-doubt. They were blinded by what they were doing and probably put on a ‘smile’ that hid their attitudes behind their facade.
They emphasized everything that was outward and did things for ‘show’ but had no idea that they were missing the boat. They thought that keeping the law to perfection meant they had a place reserved in Heaven.
It is too easy to get caught into the external because that is what we see.
We have difficulty seeing the eternal and what lasts forever.
We are so earthly!
It is easy to get drawn into the religion of our outward appearance and forget that it is about the heart.
You can actually mistakenly think you are concerned about the heart.
We can focus on external issues and become so misdirected.
We can lose focus and think we are being ‘spiritual.’
Once the external becomes the focus, it is easy to fall into the trap of exalting yourself.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12
Jesus wants us to walk humbly before Him.
3. Your Heart Tricks You!
Your heart is where the issues are at and most of the time we see ourselves as doing just fine.
Our heart is so deceitful.
Even as a Believer we still have issues that need work to be more Christ-like. Only the Holy Spirit can do it IN us.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
How often have you gone to church and sat there singing, praying, and raising your hands in worship when sin needs to be dealt with in your heart?
Um . . . I have done that! My heart disguises my thoughts about how it’s my husband’s words or my child’s behavior without seeing how my response was so wrong!
Your heart tricks you by convincing you and your inner self (your heart) that it is not your fault but the wrongful action of the OTHER person. Never you!
Then you can avoid dealing with your sin (or mine).
4. The Smile on Your Face is Just an Act!
It took my husband sitting me down and saying some hard words for me to start seeing my fault in everything. Do you ever struggle in your marriage as I have?
My prayer for years had been, “Lord, change ME!” And . . . although I meant that prayer sincerely, I sincerely did not see how it was actually all my fault!
BUT you know what? God is faithful and started to work on my heart!
God is full of grace. Unmeasured grace!
It is not that you should be wearing your problems where everyone can see them, but rather to get alone and deal with those issues with God and His wonderful Holy Spirit in prayer.
5. Rationalizing Reasonings that are Evil
Last week, I said something was ‘bad’ and the person said it another way that minimized evil. Our culture no longer calls sin what it is but excuses and accepts it.
Do you continually have reasonings going around in your head that rationalizes your actions? I have caught myself rationalizing like this:
- You excuse your behavior!
- You tell yourself you have a right to lie!
- You say I have a right to think because of the situation!
- You have a right to sin!
- You think God made an error in this situation!
- God let you down in some area (that is an evil thought)!
- You refuse to do what you know is right!
- You say I have a hard time believing ____________ (fill in the blank)!
- You justify your actions!
- You say no one thanked me! (evil motives)
- You say something about someone and say, “I didn’t really say that!” – then why did you mention it?)
These kinds of thoughts go through our mind more often than we want to admit. We might even justify why it is alright to bring them from thoughts to words with our husband or best friend.
Let’s be real. These thoughts are evil even though we rationalize why they are not bad at all!
Deal with Heart Issues and Smile!
Life comes with incredible bumps even when we don’t mix our heart issues in the pot!
Most of us want to look good and when situations in our family are rough, we put a smile on when we go to church.
Yes, a smile can hide what is really happening in your heart but instead, why not deal with the issues in your heart.
There was many a night that I sat with my Bible opened late into the evening. My heart was hurting because of others or my own actions.
Allowing God to deal with your heart by renewing and cleansing through His blood once again, will get you back on track. You can genuinely smile and be used of the Lord in the lives of those around you.
Life can be raw and as women, we can be a real mess! Jesus can heal your broken heart and the relationships that have been damaged between you and others.
How has this touched your heart today? How can I pray for you?