Does It Matter?
“Jesus said, ‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”- Matthew 23:23
“Does that matter?” This was my go-to line as a teenager, when stating my case or arguing with my parents about what I chose to do or not to do. I would use this when asked to tidy up my bed in the morning, reasoning that I would only be using it again in twelve hours. I would argue back when asked to do math homework, because really, what purpose will Algebra or Geometry ever serve when I get a job. My “Does it matter” list was even longer than my Christmas list!
When Jesus confronted the religious leaders of the time, he was addressing a spiritual pride and wrong practices that had seeped into their belief system, worship expressions, and treatment of others. In this season there have been times where I have sat bewildered, saddened, and disappointed in the Christian (some, not all) response to all that has unfolded in 2020. It has caused me to go deeper in looking at what the Scripture says to the Church and to be diligent in prayer, as the Lord is the only one who can answer my sense of burden, my need for daily bread, and the pains that come with a broken, fallen world.
I would like to encourage and remind us that IT DOES INDEED MATTER! In 1 Peter 2:17 the apostle admonishes the believers to, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
It matters that our deeds match our words, and our words are marked by the compassion and wisdom of Jesus.
It matters that we are on-time (not 5 minutes late) to meetings with people, appointments, and volunteer times at the church.
It matters that we do our job responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and effort (not leaving 5 minutes early, no taking pens or shortcuts either).
It matters that we keep a promise made to our kids, who need our time, love, and support.
It matters that we ask forgiveness when we are in the wrong, rather than dismissively thinking that the individual will understand.
It matters that we do not heap on ourselves praise for the places we are strong in the faith, but not allow the Holy Spirit to prune the areas that are weak and need some work.
Okay, Jesus, I will make my bed, I will keep using math, I will pray for those in authority, and more than anything else, I will look to walk in your love and truth with a sincere and humble heart, because it matters!