“So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”Matthew 23:28
When I was a kid, my mother would take me to get some new clothes before the start of school. This usually consisted of shirts and pants, and if I was lucky, a new pair of shoes. But for me it wasn’t about the clothes, it was about a new beginning. A chance to start all over. It was a new school year and a new, better-dressed me.
But looking back on it now, I realize how silly that mindset was. It was not a new me, it was the same me dressed up in different clothes. Maybe my “Members Only” jacket gave me a little more confidence, but deep down I was the same insecure kid.
Sometimes I wonder if we do the same thing in church. We dress up in our Sunday best to feel better about ourselves, but really we are just masking what is true underneath. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for appearing righteous on the outside while they were full of hypocrisy and wickedness on the inside (Matt. 23:28). We should periodically examine whether we are truly following Jesus or simply looking the part. The new school year is a good time to start.