I recently got new glasses and it has been wonderful to see things so much clearer. I didn't realize this until I went to my eye exam, but it had been 4 years since I had my eyes checked. Over these four years my eyes gradually changed to the point to where they are now. But the change was so gradual, I didn't notice the changes until there were things I couldn't read anymore that I was sure I used to be able to read. These gradual changes over the last four years added up to a big difference in my new prescription. It is interesting how those little changes went unnoticed. Eventually, my memory told me that I used to see better and that triggered that something was wrong. I really think that our walk with God can be similar. We can allow ourselves to gradually make small little changes that slowly turn our attention away from God. Over time, we find ourselves groping around unable to see our Creator. What about when we are bringing others with us? Jesus warns against blind leadership in Matthew 23:13-22.
Yesterday, I looked at how Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites. As we continue on through Matthew 23, we see that the entire chapter is warning against the hypocritical behavior that we see in the Pharisees. Yesterday, I considered the difference between someone who was working hard to follow Jesus but still found themselves facing temptation and sin and the person who was always pointing their finger at everyone else and not even worrying about their own sin. I pointed out that when we are more concerned about our hearts and our relationship with God rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing; it guards us from hypocrisy.
Continuing that idea, don't you find it interesting that Jesus would call the hypocrite a "blind guide?" Think about it for a minute...what are we looking at when we are concerned about other people's behavior? We certainly are not looking at God, are we? The more we become concerned with everyone else's actions, the less we are looking at our Lord. Without having the true light of the world on our vision, we really will be blind. So then, as leaders, when we focus on others rather than focusing on our relationship with God, we will become blind leaders. As you see in these verses, Jesus tells us that the Pharisees were leading people in the wrong direction because they were focusing on the wrong things. They were not allowing others to enter the kingdom of heaven because they couldn't find it themselves. They had forgotten who was the One who declared what was sacred.
The more we spend time with God in prayer and reading the Bible, the more our vision is corrected and focused on what keeps us from becoming a hypocrite. This happens because the more we are in the Bible and the more we come to God, the more He reveals what needs to change in our own hearts. This is good and this honors God.
Are you keeping your focus on God by spending time with Him?