REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Cami King who serves as associate pastor at Remnant Church in Manhattan, was first posted on April 9, 2014. Cami is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). We offer our condolences for the recent passing of her younger brother.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“A Sneakier Form of Hypocrisy”
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
One of the most common insults hurled at Christians is that we are all a bunch of hypocrites. Whether it’s our unsavory history of Crusades or appalling picketing at funerals, most of us can at least see where the world might get this idea. For many outsiders looking in, we talk about love but aren’t very loving; we talk about morality but aren’t very moral. Our Scriptures talk about caring for the poor, needy, and even the environment and animal kingdom, but how many of us actually make this our priority?
The reality is, most of the world is a bit hard on Christians. They don’t understand the process of sanctification – that while we seek to live like Christ, we all fall short of His glory (thank God for forgiveness!). It takes a while (a lifetime to be exact) to perfect it.
But what the rest of the world doesn’t seem to notice is a sneakier form of hypocrisy among us. Many of us are content with living double lives where we shape shift depending on the crowd. This can take many forms: we are Christians on Sundays, but quickly adjust to “blend in” with the rest of the world for the rest of the week; we describe a weekend retreat as “fun” or “insightful” instead of glorifying God for the ways He moved.
Like Peter, many of us are so concerned with fitting in and being accepted (or just living average lives, realizing the American Dream), that we give into the tendencies of culture even when they are contrary to the culture of the Kingdom of God. This is precisely what it means for salt to lose its savor or a lamp to be hidden under a bowl.
We aren’t called to be perfect, but we are called to be consistent and genuine. When we find ourselves bifurcating our lives based upon whom we are around, we’re headed for trouble. Our faith may lead us into some awkward conversations, uncomfortable moments, or difficult choices, but sometimes it’s these precise moments that give God an opportunity to move.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to live out a consistent and genuine faith before the on looking world. I know I don’t have to be perfect, but help me to be honest and resist the temptation to just fit in. Help me to be salt and light to the non-Christian communities in which you’ve place me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Questions to Consider
- Why is salt a good metaphor for believers?
- Why are we to let our light shine before others?
- What are some places God is calling you to let your light shine?
- Salt has two primary functions – flavoring and preserving. A little salt goes a long way to change the taste of food. Salt also has the power to preserve food that would otherwise decay without it.
- So God can be glorified.
What are some things that keep you from being salt and light in your various communities? Are there specific people before whom God is calling you to live out genuine faith? Pray and surrender these areas to God. Ask for boldness to become bright and salty!