What shape is your heart in?
Today’s reading is all about the condition of our hearts. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the Jewish people. Their jobs were to make sure that that their communities followed all of the 600+ laws and traditions that had been created around the scriptures. In essence, they were the religious watchdogs of the time!
Then enters Jesus. He and his disciples subscribe to a different way of living – a way that focuses on the intent behind the law. The Pharisees hated this, and therefore hated Jesus! They continually tried to catch Jesus going against the law and trap him in a way that would allow them to persecute him.
The Pharisees were so concerned with doing what was “right” on the outside that they never thought about what God’s heart was on the matter. They missed the point entirely!
It’s not about “Do’s” or “Don’ts”…
Understanding the heart behind the things we choose to do or not to do, as Christ followers is a really important concept for our kids to grasp. Kids are used to rules. And they’re used to being required to following them. However, they often don’t understand the reasons why. It’s important as parents that we teach our kids that the choices we make as Christ-followers aren’t “rules or laws”. Instead, they are actions and decisions we make that bring us closer to knowing God. We need to help them understand that it’s not about the things we can’t do, or the things we don’t do – it’s about what we choose to do, and why.
Take some time today, as a family, to talk about the difference between following rules and laws and living our lives for Christ. It’s important that kids understand this when they are young. We don’t want our kids thinking that being a Christian means following a long list of “do’s” and “don’ts.”
Your child(ren) will be more likely to want to grow in their faith as teenagers and young adults if they have a Christ-like perspective on the intent behind their choices.