The Bible says that “it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4), and gratefully God used a kind friend to speak truth to my heart this past weekend and turned my attention in the right direction. I repented, and changed the direction of my heart and attitude. Let me explain…
I directed a choir one year at a local Bible College in town and we toured from church to church singing, sharing, and leading others in worship. It never failed that a student would approach me and say that they “just couldn’t get up and sing because they just weren’t ‘feeling it’, and to sing would make them a hypocrite.” The problem was that singing in the choir was also a major part of the grade the students received and so I did not offer them an “out” when they weren’t “feeling it.” What was needed was a change of perspective. There are things you do because you love to do it, then there are things you do that are right and good and you do them with or without positive feelings. Parenting is an example. As much as I would like to say “I don’t feel like being a mom today”, the fact remains that it is my responsibility and there isn’t anyone else given my job. I get up, feed and clothe my children and tend to their needs. Sometimes our eyes have to be shifted from our feelings to our responsibilities.
When our feelings do not match our actions, we often call that being a hypocrite, and no one wants to be a hypocrite. In fact, that is a reason many people claim they will not become a Christian, because they are afraid of being a hypocrite. They have to be “all in” with their emotions at all times or not at all; but being a hypocrite has little to do with our emotions matching our actions. Take for instance the parable Jesus spoke about the obedient sons in
New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Jesus uses this parable to teach that those who who are really His do what He asks. It is the hypocrite that says they will do something, but really has no intentions to follow through.
Who was commended for obeying? The one who actually completed the assignment God gave them to do.