“You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15 NLT
How often do people go to church? Interestingly, a recent study confirmed that many people are willing to exaggerate their church attendance. The study, by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), revealed that many Americans inflated their responses to religious questions in telephone surveys compared to online surveys.
In his analysis of this information, Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, observed that many people primarily are concerned about impressing others. For primarily social reasons, some want to portray the impression that they attend church more than they really do. Many simply will not face the facts or admit the truth.
As these results demonstrate, going to church is a social activity for many people. Their motivation is social, not spiritual. They are more concerned about appearances and the reactions of other people, than with their relationship with God.
They fail to realize that the only measurement that counts is how God reacts. He knows the truth of our lives. He knows the condition of our heart, and He is more concerned with our true attitudes than with actions done to impress others.
The Bible reminds us that we cannot hide from God. Jesus warned a group of Pharisees that although they might have been able to appear righteous to others, God knew their hearts.
David realized, “My sins cannot be hidden from you” (Psalm 69:5). For “he knows the secrets of every heart” (Psalm 44:21).
Today, think about your life. Is your focus on impressing others or pleasing God? Do you care more about what others think they know about you, or about what the Lord thinks? Remember that God knows your heart. You cannot fool Him. So be honest with Him, and seek to be pleasing to Him!
PrayerFather, I surrender my life to You. Help me to be pleasing in Your sight. I seek first Your Kingdom and dedicate my time, talent, and treasure to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingLuke 16