Simple Devotions
For the Complex Life

Are You Clean on the Outside... or the Inside?

What makes a Christian unclean??? Today there are quite a few Christians who are worried about their outward appearance, and how they are perceived... and to a point this is a good thing. However, there are also those Christians who will not associate with the "unsaved," or with those who have participated in certain activities because they do not want to feel "unclean." People will avoid those that are despised, simply to hold up their reputation.

Jesus gives us an example of this in one of his most famous parables, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In this parable Jesus talks of a man who was beaten and robbed, a man who lied dirty in the streets without hope. At first a Priest came, and the Priest did not want to deal with the man, so he passed on by. And then came a Levite, a man who held certain political and religious responsibilities... but he also passed on the other side. Then came a Samaritan, a man who had no reason to bother with this half-dead man. But instead, he took the man and cared for him... he took the man to a hotel, and paid his rent. Expecting nothing in return, and without worrying about what other people would think of him.

Many Christians are so careful to avoid those we consider "dirty." We pass them by just as the Priest and Levite did to the poor man who had been robbed. We take the idea of separation to mean abandonment and not caring, instead of caring, but staying separate from their acts. The people we try to help cannot make us unclean, just as the food we eat cannot make us unclean.

Many Christians do not understand this concept, just as the Disciples did not understand. They have been told to avoid a certain type of people, but God says to share his word with All (Matthew 28:19-20). He tells us to be separate from sinful acts, but to care for all. He tells us that it is not our neighbors that make us unclean, it is not getting dusty from a hard days work that makes us unclean, it is not the food that makes us unclean... but it is what we think and do that makes us unclean.

As he explains to his Disciples in Matthew 15:17-20:

What about you? Are you more concerned with what other people think of you? Are you more concerned with keeping a clean appearance such as the Priest or Levite? Or are you more concerned about keeping your insides clean... Keeping your thoughts pure, and serving God?

And when one of God's children is in trouble, will you stop to help him out? Or will you pass by on the other side...