Today’s Reading: Romans 2:1-24 

I’ve been fascinated and frustrated about something for many years. Have you noticed how companies are shrinking the size of their products while keeping the packaging the same? The result is less product while the price stays the same or goes up. Marketing experts argue that consumers are more sensitive to price changes than they are to size changes so companies can get away with less quantity. Let me demonstrate.

Interestingly, the packaging industry has dubbed these new containers “cheater cups” because they’re designed to fool consumers. You know this, same size box, just with more air inside. One thing companies are counting on is that it’s easy to sneak a subtle change past people.

In Romans 2 we can see that many are “cheater Christians,” because they’re fooling themselves and others. Too many religious people have pretty packaging on the outside but have downsized the amount of spirituality on the inside. Unfortunately, most people have just accepted the change. Religion has some fatal flaws for it often focuses only on the outside, and not on the inside. We could say it this way: Ritualistic religiosity can lead to shrinking spirituality.

Montaigne once said, “I find no quality so easy to counterfeit as religious devotion.” Jesus cautioned against dressing up the outside in order to hide decay and death on the inside. His words were a rebuke to the religious of His day when He declared in Matthew 23:27: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” Graves were painted white every year so no one would accidentally touch a tomb and be declared unclean. Those involved in ritual and religion were nicely painted on the outside but were actually dead on the inside, and in their deadness, were defiling others.

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