"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness." Matthew 23:27
The greatest testimony you could possibly give is to have the audacity to live honestly. It takes courage to be yourself. It takes security in the unconditional love of your heavenly Father to acknowledge not just your strengths and successes, but also your weaknesses and failures. But in doing so your life will proclaim the powerful, beautiful work of God. And in doing so you will experience the peace and joy only freedom from building a facade can produce.
A facade is “an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.” So often, to cover up what we know to be imperfect we devote ourselves to creating a false picture for others. We even devote so much energy to building a facade that we try and deceive ourselves. We muster up our pride and look only at what we’ve done well, all the while ignoring what we need help with. As a result, we spend all our time living a life apart from reality. And to live apart from reality is to live apart from the grace and love of our ever-present, wholly real Father.
In Matthew 23:27, Jesus passionately rebukes those who try and build facades: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” God solely cares about the heart. He’s not worried about perception. He’s not worried about status or societal acceptance. He cares about what is real. He knows that any energy spent devoted to building a facade is energy you can’t devote to receiving help, healing, and grace for what’s real and important. He knows that all your efforts to be accepted aren’t of value because the opinions of others are nothing in comparison to His unconditional love for you. And He knows that ultimately all facades will be torn down, and we will be seen and known by Him for who we truly are.
God longs for you to live fully known and fully loved. He longs for you to live out a revelation of His love and grace rather than striving for affection and acceptance by building up facades. Take time to experience His love and grace today. Assess your heart and tear down your walls. May freedom burst forth in your life today as you proclaim the glory of God’s grace by being who you really are.
1. Reflect on the importance of living in reality. Allow Jesus’ words to stir up your desire to tear down any facade you’ve built up.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27
2. Where are you striving for acceptance or affection by building up facades? Where are you portraying yourself to be something you aren’t? Why are you doing it?
3. Ask the Holy Spirit for the courage to be yourself today.Tell others of your weaknesses today. Don’t be afraid to be yourself with all your strengths, successes, weaknesses and failures.
May God’s grace and love empower you today as you live honestly. May you stop devoting your energy to appearances and give yourself to what’s real. And in doing so may you encounter the unconditional acceptance and affection of your loving Father.
Extended Reading: Matthew 23