I was really pleased at the way this picture turned out; what a beautiful old home! Don’t you get a sense of the charm of yesteryear when you look at it? It just oozes the best of late Victorian living… can’t you just smell bread baking and hear the sound of playing children?
But not everything is what it appears to be.
This is a funeral home.
Yes, it used to be a beautiful turn of the century home, but now it is full of the business of death. This is a principle that goes all through the Bible, and there are many examples of things that are not what they appear to be. Sometimes, this phenomenon even applies to people who appear to be leaders in the church.
“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 the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
All of us are susceptible to temptations and problems of the soul, and we must take care that we keep on the right track, and away from the slippery slope. The other day I was speaking with a Christian brother who has struggled with temptation off and on and who remains concerned by the prospect of falling away from the Lord’s presence. I shared with him something that has helped me from time to time when I am tempted to go in the wrong direction and I’ll offer it to you.
I often ask myself two questions:
1. Do I really believe that what I believe is really real?
2. Will I remember to ask myself the first question when temptation is at hand?
When I do, the temptation is over, after all we have died to sin through Christ. If I don’t ask myself those questions, I have a struggle on my hands.
Yes, as we go through the adventure of living with Jesus Christ, we need to be wary of the things of this world, and we should also be wary of becoming something of this world!