What you see is what you get. This is a saying that many use when they describe a person who does not try to hide anything about their personality, character, and even flaws. A person who is honest on the inside and out is a person who is seen by the world as exactly as they portray themselves. This is not the case for most people.

In Matthew 15, Jesus is being confronted by the scribes and Pharisees. These are people who wore their religion for the world to see. They made a big production of praying in public, wearing extra-long tassels on their robes as well as long phylacteries. And when giving alms to the poor, it was a grand event. They pursued outward acts of devotion and appearances of piety intensely as if that were the most important thing in the world.

They did not seek Jesus to learn. Their purpose was to find fault in the teachings of Jesus. Their intent backfired and revealed to the world what was in their hearts. Their own faults and sins were exposed for the world to see.

How do we, in our modern world, show our faith? Do we wear clothing with scripture references hoping the world will be converted by our t-shirts? Are we in the church every time the doors are open? And while doing these things are we going into our homes or favorite places using less than appropriate language, gossiping, judging, and condemning others?

Rather than being so obsessed with outward forms of piety, let us be more concerned about our inward obedience to

God’s commandments. Do we love God’s commandments and seek to always obey them? Keeping up with the Jones’ is not important, Beloved. What is in your heart? Outward signs of our faith are only meaningful if our hearts are set on God.