Matthew 23: 25- 27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”
Jesus’ words are strong, and may not be considered politically correct, but they are full of truth and bold love. We live in a society that cares more about who they appear than how they are. I suppose I should blog a great image message here, you know my heart is to help women be confident and sincere. I love to teach each Img.ID how to dress according to her physical stature and personal preferences; but my true desire is to bring that message even deeper. I believe our Lord is addressing so much more than our wardrobe in this scripture, and I don’t know about you, but I need His strong words right now.
I’ve been guilty of craving “self-indulgence” lately. I think about making a spa appointment nearly every day! Why? Because I am running on empty. I have not allowed myself the things I crave, like that full body massage, (which is a whole different blog…) but “as a gal thinketh in her heart, so is she,” right? I kinda feel like a whitewashed tomb… and I am well aware that I am not the only one feeling empty and numb.
Women who are hurting are a bit like a wounded animal. We may know how to look beautiful on the outside, but Jesus is right: inside we are full of “dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.” Stress is eating away at our very souls. Life and love have disappointed us, and we tend to respond with a bitter determination to just “do it myself!” In our desperation to survive on our own, greed takes over. All that is left is pretense and evidence of a life that was.
It’s especially hard around Christmas time, isn’t it? All the shopping, and so many sales tempting us to charge our own wish-list instead of the family’s. I suppose spending our own money on our own needs is not really “impure,” but for me: I know what’s in my wallet, if you know what I mean.
I believe Jesus wants us to have an abundant life, not one without peace and passion. He desperately wants to meet our needs – that’s why His words are so strong. A life that doesn’t need Him is lifeless and selfish. This season, let’s be careful not to focus on how we look, let’s not go through the motions of caring for others, let’s take the advice of the One we celebrate: let’s first empty ourselves and let Him cleanse us, then our beauty will radiate inside and out.
Dear God, would you cleanse me today? I do not want to live a life of pretense, and I am tired of trying to fill my own needs and desires. Fill me with your Living Water, and give me your passion to live life to the fullest. Amen.
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.