“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say”
When I was a girl, we would make an occasional visit to see one of my great aunts. Her home was a rather large colonial that had a half-bath on the first floor. Something unusual back in those days. The walls of her half-bath were lined with shelving, on which she kept her pill bottles. You see, my great aunt was a hypochondriac. Everyone in the family knew that she was. The small town she lived in knew it also. And of course, the town doctor knew it. That’s why all those pill bottles in her half-bath were filled with sugar pills he had prescribed. The kicker is that when my great aunt passed away, the family donated her house and property to the local hospital so they could expand their facilities. Very fitting!
People are always self-diagnosing. We’ve all done it. One little ache, pain, bump, or rash and we jump on the computer trying to diagnosis what our prognosis is. Anything but go to the doctor in case we might need treatment, medication, or God forbid – surgery. We would rather self-evaluate our condition. Then we describe it to others in research-based terms we can neither pronounce nor spell, hoping we will impress them with our self-taught medical skills. Problem is, our condition eventually gets worse, until we find we have no choice but to let a real doctor help us.
Know what’s sad? We also do this with our spiritual condition. We look around at others, and determine we’re in a good sacred place, because we don’t do what some of them do. And besides, we spent two times in prayer this past week. Plus, don’t forget our little offering we gave the church. Then there was that elderly neighbor we helped the other day. Yes indeed, we’re in good spiritual shape.
Jesus had much to say about a person’s spiritual condition. In Luke 6:46 he posed the question, “Why do you call me. ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?” In his seven letters to the churches in the book of Revelation, chapter 3, he singled out the church in Laodicea, and said to them – “Truth is, you are neither hot nor cold….you are lukewarm….I could spit you out of my mouth…..You say you don’t need a thing….You don’t realize the wretched shape you’re in.” These are some powerful words that should convict his church. Why so blunt and scolding? Because in verse 19 he said, “those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”
The only one who can do a true and honest evaluation of our spiritual condition is Jesus Christ. He can do this because he not only knows us, but he loves us more than we love ourselves. We can’t evaluate our hearts because our hearts are deceitfully wicked. Only Jesus knows what is truly going on in there. So rather than sit around self-evaluating our spiritual condition, let’s bring ourselves before the Lord and ask him to reveal where our hearts are honestly at. If we don’t, we may end up like my great aunt, having the walls of our hearts lined with bottles of nothing but sugar pills.