All Cracked Up
Yes, that is a cracked egg. And yes, that is the carpet on our steps at home. Did we discover some new all natural way to clean carpets with eggs? No. We also know that you cannot cook an egg on carpet, especially in a climate controlled house. However, we do have a 4 year old daughter with a mind of her own. In this particular case, she had been reintroduced to hard-boiled eggs when they made Easter Eggs at preschool. She had brought home her colorful creation the day before and decided she really wanted it for breakfast this particular morning. We don’t make boiled eggs very often, so it is almost “treat” status (I know, kinda weird) for our kids. After eating her boiled egg from school that morning, she then decided that she really wanted another boiled egg for an afternoon snack (I know, kinda weird). Since Jill was upstairs cleaning house, Tatum took it upon herself to go to the frig, scamper up the shelves and grab an egg. From there, she headed upstairs to get help removing the shell from what she thought was an exciting and rare high protein snack. As you can see, the mission fell short of its goal. She was so excited to chow down that she stopped and started breaking the shell open right on the steps. The result was this gooey mess from a raw, definitely not hardboiled, egg when it cracked wide open in her hands. I’m really glad that we have an assertive little girl who wants to do things on her own. It will get her far in life. I just wish that she would have known about 90 seconds earlier that we didn’t have any more boiled eggs in the refrigerator.
This story makes me think about a message from Jesus. In the last part of Luke 11, we see Jesus as a dinner guest in a Pharisee’s home. This dinner party quickly became tense when Jesus called into question the heart of the Pharisees. In verses 39-40, we see Jesus calling out the hypocrisy of having a clean outside but an unrighteous heart:
Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?
Well, that’s a conversation starter… The comment was brought on because the Pharisee was in disbelief when Jesus didn’t wash his hands before eating (Luke 11:38). Jesus took this as an opening to call out the practices of the religious hypocrites. He goes on in the following verses (Luke 11:43-52) to call out the injustices that they oversaw, the callousness of their giving, their treatment of the poor, the heavy load of legalism they placed on their followers, the obstacles they put between people and God, and even for having blood on their hands from the murder of God’s prophets. Jesus isn’t a polite and pleasant dinner guest in this scene. He calls out the Pharisees for the wickedness that testified to the true nature of their hearts; all the while they loved to dress themselves in the appearance of righteousness. Needless to say, it doesn’t appear that he stuck around for dessert.
It can sometimes be difficult to discern the heart of a person or group of people until you get past the shell and see what’s inside. The Pharisees in this passage were being called out for wearing the appearance of godliness but instead being filled with dark and hardened hearts. So, how does all this resonate with us? As those who claim to follow God, we are called to live Spirit-led lives that reflect our love for Christ and willingness to follow him whole heartedly. If someone were to video us when our guard is down, what would they see? What would be their judgement of our hearts from the words that flow from our mouths or messages that we type from our keyboards? Do those words build up or tear down others? If someone evaluated our time would they see a busy calendar crammed full with a self-consumed schedule, or days that allow time to connect with, honor, and serve God in a selfless way? When we see injustice in the world do we act like we care, or do we have enough compassion to ignite action with a hope to bring resolution to brokenness? How do we interact with people we disagree with? Are we humble enough to listen and hear the other person, or just want to make sure we “win” the disagreement? Are we interested in seeking and eradicating sin in our own lives, or would we rather point a finger at someone else who struggles with something we don’t happen to be hampered by?
There are so many ways in which we can evaluate whether we are people who truly seek to give Christ control of our hearts or if we are just shells of false advertisement. The bottom line is that as disciples of Christ, we are called to hand over the entirety of our lives: body, mind, soul, and strength so that God can transform us into his likeness. In the Luke passage we discussed above, it is interesting that Jesus gave one command that could have led to cleansing for the Pharisees. Catch this in verse 41-
But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Wow! With all of the sin he was about to lay on them, this seems like a pretty good deal. Be generous to the poor, and you’ll be clean. That’s it. Despite all the terrible things you guys have done, we’ll call it even. When Jesus threw that offer out, there were a couple of things that could have happened-
- The Pharisees could be convicted of wrong doing, have a change of heart, and humbly seek to give to the poor. This response would show a conviction of the heart that meant a change at their core.
- They could take a posture of pride and rear up against Jesus while admitting no wrong, thus proving that darkness truly consumed their hearts.
When Jesus pointed out their sin, they weren’t able to humble themselves and accept his offer of righteousness. Instead, they defended themselves by opposing him “fiercely” (according to the NIV in verse 53) and looked for a way to trick him into saying something he could be attacked about. Here’s the amazing thing about our God: He offers us an opportunity to admit our sin and be redeemed from it through grace. The thing that qualifies us to wear the name of Jesus isn’t our ability to be perfect, but our ability to have a soft heart that accepts His grace. In addition, when we allow that grace to change our core and we live out a Spirit-filled life, it gives hope to others who are looking for something that is good, pure, and filled with hope. Let’s strive to let our gooey mess be transformed by God into something good and pleasing.