Matthew 23:26 says “You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.“
As you see in the picture, when we wash the inside of a cup, the outside will automatically become clean by the overflow. It doesn’t make sense to only clean the outside of a cup. When we try to merely change our actions, it’s like washing the outside of a cup. Harmful behavior is a result of problems inside us, our mental and emotional health – our heart. Unless we find out what’s going on inside us, we cannot change our behavior. Like pharisees, we usually try controlling our behavior and act like good Christians on the outside but that doesn’t change sin at all; it just creates hypocrisy. On the other hand, if we have become controlled by addictions such as drugs, alcohol, pornography or other destructive behavior such as eating disorders, lying, gossiping, stealing, promiscuity, homosexuality or even criminal behavior, we are “out of control.”
Why do we do what we do? That’s what we need to find out. Then we can be cleaned on the inside and only then will our behavior change. As a born-again, spirit-filled Christian I know first-hand what happens to churches filled with legalism. Focusing on our behavior leads to rules and more rules. Rules lead to sin. That’s what the Bible says from Romans to Galatians. Only the knowledge of your righteousness through Christ can set you free. Only the knowledge of grace leads to freedom from sin. Really! We are not under laws spiritually, we are to become led by the Holy Spirit. Rules are not what relationship with God is about. Christians need to understand how to live spirit-led lives, not dry religion.
My book, First Wash The Inside, explains why church-goers can sometimes do more harm than good. After the church I attended split, as they so often do, self-examination took place in my heart and God revealed things to me. Now I share these truths with you so that you can use God’s word like a scrubby brush to your soul.The tools in my book teach you:
• To forgive those who have hurt you and realize your own wrongdoing
• To begin relationship building again
• To improve your understanding of God’s grace
• To remove guilt and shame from yourself and stop judging others
• How harmful behavior can be changed when grace is applied
• That sin is not an action
• That repentance is easy if you know how
• How to help heal the broken-hearted
This is a tool for counselors and pastors, prisoners, addicts and anyone in between. So climb into your comfy chair and open your heart so God can begin to wash you from the inside. You’ll be glad you did.