• William T. Howe Ph.D.

October 8, 2021

Daily Reading: Matthew 15-17

Matthew 15:8

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

The snare. That is what this is, a snare to the soul, a snare ruining the relationship between a soul and the Lord, a snare easily entered into and difficult to escape. Jesus knew it would happen, for Esaias (Isaiah, in Isaiah 29:13) prophesied such. Yet knowing it will happen is one thing, living through it is another.

More than one preacher has experienced this. “I love you pastor, you’re just what this church needs,” they may say. Then they leave the church over some trivial matter. Many times individuals say the right things, they know what to say, but their hearts are contrary to that which they say. Friends have experienced this, marriage partners, parents, employers, no one is immune.

To one extent or another we all spend time in this snare of hypocrisy. Many times, a doctor tells a patient to take this prescription, do this, or don’t do that. When in the doctor’s office the patient verbally agrees to whatever recommendation the physician gives. But then, at home, the patient does not take all the medicine, does not do this or that. They have spoken the right thing with their mouth, but their heart is far from doing the right thing.

It’s one thing to do this with your doctor, pastor, parent, employer, or spouse. It is another thing altogether when this characterizes one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The lips have no mind of their own and will say anything the brain tells them to say. The heart, though, has a somewhat less rigid relationship with the mind. The heart of a person may feel one thing, the mind may know another thing. When the heart and mind agree, wonderful. When they are at odds, difficulty, stress, worry, struggle, and sometimes fear manifests itself in uncomfortable proportions. The mind wars against the heart when they do not agree, likewise the heart to the mind. Only by having these two in joint harmony can you truly have a peaceful, restful, and contented soul.

The mind affects the heart, and the heart affects the mind. The mind can be changed by facts, new data, experience, and ongoing learning of all sorts. The heart is not so easily changed. The heart reflects the soul. Many times, for the heart to be changed, the soul needs to be changed. The best way for this soul change to take place is a healthy diet of the Word of God, preaching, and walking with the Lord on a daily basis.

Each and every person must be watchful for that sinister snare of hypocrisy that causes our lips to say one thing, but our heart to be otherwise.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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