- “Yeah, we came out of the Ozarks with 900 fish. Stashed ’em in sleeping bags and under the floorboards of the trucks. The game authorities never had a clue that we over-fished the lakes’ limits by the hundreds!”
The next day this same fellow took great care to get his tithe to the church on time.
- A friend darts in and out of traffic, pushing the speed limit with the help of a radar detector. All a game, it seems, to beat the police’s effort at enforcing the law.
In a couple of days he will lead a couples’ Bible study on “Biblical Principles of Marriage.”
- Another associate stashes thousands of dollars away in an attempt to outsmart the IRS in paying back taxes.
He is renown in his church circles for helping fund numerous missionary projects abroad.
This morning in my devotions, while pondering these conflicting patterns of life, I was arrested by Proverbs 20:7:
“The righteous man leads a blameless life… ”
Isn’t it intriguing that there are, at best, only a handful of references in the New Testament urging believers toward church attendance? Yet there are hundreds of Scriptural calls to righteous living. Professionally religious people love the pious church atmosphere but demonstrate little appetite for uncompromising obedience to God’s Word:
“I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me… What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother‘s son” (Psalm 50:8, 16-20)
Can there be anything more displeasing to God than religiously-minded people who exhibit little correlation between their profession and their practice? Is there any greater stumbling block to the lost?
QUESTION: Do your associates outside of Christ view you as religious and hypocritical? Or as blameless?