Devotions

Structural Versus Cosmetic

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27, NKJV

Excitement is in the air! A few months ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my larger home of twenty years that sits in a small neighborhood for a smaller home in a large neighborhood. While I have wrestled with this idea that began brewing eight years ago after the death of my precious husband, the dream house he and I built is not the same without him. When growing up, my family always lived in communities with sidewalks and lots of friendly neighbors all around; the community where the new house will be reflects this same spirit.

The process chosen by the builder of my new home is two-fold: structural and cosmetic. The first meeting is to determine the actual “bones” of the house. Most people do not enjoy this part of the building process, but I do. A little geeky, I guess, I even have my own construction hat from a prior project. Although it may not be the “pretty part” of a work in progress, if the part that lies behind the walls is not sturdy and sound, no finishing touches matter. The house will not withstand the wear and tear of weather and the simple everyday living of the occupants.

Jesus did not mince His words when addressing the religious leaders, who, from every outward appearance looked all put together. What they did not understand was that Jesus saw through the lovely façade into the depths of their hearts and all was not right and lovely.

Whether my eyes are consciously open, or closed for sleeping, I am painfully aware that no matter how hard I work on being presentable to the world, Jesus sees the good, the bad, and the ugly of who I am. Only God can transform human beings from the inside out.

Chuck Swindoll said in one of his Bible teachings, “The strain of depravity that runs through me is the same that runs through others, but it always looks worse in someone else.” Perhaps the Psalmist said it best, “There is none who does good, no, not one” (14:3).

Father God, help me remember, that You are the “General Contractor” of my soul. May I be agreeable to Your construction plan, even when the process takes longer than I desire and requires “change orders” delaying the finish. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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