Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Matthew 23:23-24
I hate when bugs accidentally fly into my mouth. Every once in awhile it happens. I am not sure I have ever eaten camel. In pronouncing ‘woes’ upon the Pharisees, Jesus calls out an area of hypocrisy. Though they were very detailed and precise in giving their tithe (all the way down to the smallest of spices), they had not fulfilled God’s desire for justice, mercy and faithfulness. This is what it means to ‘strain a gnat and swallow a camel’. Each of us can slip into hypocrisy if we are not careful and accountable.
How about me? Are there any camels stuck in my throat? Am I consistent and faithful in both the weightier and lighter matters of pleasing God?
Lord, I hate when I am hypocritical and there is inconsistency in the way I say I am and the way I really am. Help me worship You from a pure heart, unfettered emotion, and without fear of man or desire to please them. I don’t want to eat gnats or camels.