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? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Luke 11:39-42, NIV

When Jesus was invited to eat at a Pharisee’s house, he sat down to eat without washing his hands. He knew this might raise some eyebrows because handwashing was an important ceremonial ritual that symbolized purity at the time. The Pharisees did not say anything directly to Jesus about not participating in the hand-washing ceremony. However, He is the all-knowing God who knew exactly what they were thinking.

In response, Jesus took this opportunity to teach them about true purity. He explained that the outward appearance of holiness, goodness, purity, and generosity does not matter if our inner motives are corrupt with pride, selfishness, deception, or other ungodly motives. He also told them that true purity or authentic generosity comes from a true love for God.

As educators, we are constantly serving others. We feel like we are always giving and doing the right thing. We have a noble career. But sometimes, we can get caught going through the motions of educating and doing good things. We can even become disingenuous at times. Especially when we start to feel tapped out because of our constant service to our schools.

When this happens, we can take time to examine our motives. We can ask ourselves if we are motivated by what God will think or by what others will think. We can remember that authentic generosity comes from our true and pure love for God.

Lord, help us not to focus on how we appear to others. Search our hearts, and show us the areas in our lives where we have been disingenuous. Help us to be authentically generous; Show us where we can become kinder and gentler. Let our actions and words flow out of wholehearted love for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Copyright Althea Gordon-Scott.

Althea’s passion is to validate, encourage, empower, and inspire people, especially young people, to find their identity, live out their purpose, and reach their full potential. She is a member, public school educator, ordained minister, wife, and mother.

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CE Summer Bible Study

Thanks for your interest in joining us as we read through the New Testament with our fellow Christian educators this summer!