Tag Archives: hypocrite

What’s Under Your Roof? | Bible Gleanings – April 3-4, 2021

What’s Under Your Roof?

The woman’s home and land had the kind of beauty and elegance that instantly made you think, “Oh yeah—this person is loaded.” The two-story home was decorated with charcoal-colored brick with a gleaming texture. Vivid flowers surrounded the house and every bush was flawlessly whittled down. The exposed aggregate driveway wound aesthetically through the yard, weaving through the gorgeous green and hilly property. Speaking of green, I’ll bet that not one blade of grass was improperly trimmed.

This heavenly home was also the workplace of an accredited tax preparer my father and I had visited to pay our dues to Caesar.1 My mouth dropped in awe at the enticing appearance of the outside. However, my mouth dropped even farther as we were welcomed through the front door. Mountains of paperwork smothered the tables and countertops. Another mountain was in the sink—a pile of dirty dishes that would have tumbled had one more fork been laid on top. And a tornado of children had obviously blown through every room, as Barbie dolls and soldier toys lay far and wide.

Now—I’m not being critical—just take a look inside my home! The point is, looks are deceiving. What was under the roof contradicted what was outside of the walls. The condition of the inside was completely different from the appearance of the outside. And appearances only go so far—what really matters is what’s inside.

Apparently, the Lord God agrees: “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b). God cares about the condition of the inside, that which is “under your roof,” within your heart. And it doesn’t matter if the lawn of your life is perfectly trimmed if the living room of your heart is a sinful mess. External conformity to Scripture is meaningless without internal purity. As Jesus once said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28). Jesus also said that upkeep of the outside is foolish if we neglect maintenance on the inside (Luke 11:39-40).

The truth is, none of us have our house in order—we all need the Spirit of God to make the inside clean. That is why you must be washed and regenerated by the Spirit as you take hold of Christ by faith alone (Titus 3:5). And after your heart has been purified by the Spirit, you must continually pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). So, what’s under your roof?

  1. This story is from many years ago, in a location far away from Murray. That’s why I thought no harm would be done in sharing this account. Plus, I know the woman referenced and she would get a kick out of this story as she is a faithful believer in Christ.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (Aussiedor), and Dot (beagle).

Nurturing What is Fake | Bible Gleanings, October 24-25, 2020

Nurturing What Is Fake

Caelie Wilkes felt accomplished and proud. For two years, she successfully nurtured and cared for a succulent given to her by a friend. Her other house plants had shriveled and died, so she was feeling particularly gratified, considering she did not have a green thumb.

Things were different for this little succulent. Caelie carefully watered it when necessary. She read articles online on how to properly tend to succulents. And when friends tried to help the plant, she became protective like a mama bear. The leaves were firm, waxy, and green—all indicators of vibrant health. The succulent emitted joy as it sat in the kitchen window, illuminating the area.

One day, she determined it was time to repot the lucky plant. And it was then that she made a shattering discovery—the succulent she had religiously fostered was plastic! Beneath the surface was artificial sand and Styrofoam. USA Today covered this true story and Caelie remarked, “I put so much love into this plant! I washed it’s leaves. Tried my hardest to keep it looking its best, and it’s completely plastic!” She expended a considerable amount of time and strength to nurture what was fake all along.

Albeit an amusing story, what is quite tragic is that we can each do this in our spiritual lives. Like Caelie, we can spend time and effort in nurturing what is fake—tending to a hypocritical life that is as fake as plastic. You can give the impression that you are righteous while your heart is full of unrighteousness. God said to the Israelites, “[These] people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13). Mere lip service while your heart is distant from the Lord is a plastic succulent in His sight.

Jesus sternly warns about nurturing a fake-succulent-kind-of-life: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). A day is coming when God will reveal the “roots” of all people, and it will become clear who is genuinely righteous and only righteous by appearance (2 Peter 3:10). Therefore, nurture authenticity instead of hypocrisy. Tend to and maintain an authentic, genuine life of righteousness.

You can begin by first trusting wholly in Christ as your Savior and Lord. If you have already done that, then strive to live righteously in order to be seen only by the Lord. Be more concerned with the inward condition of your heart than the outward appearance of your life. Be honest about your faults and shortcomings. Depend daily on God’s real grace to live a real righteous life. And don’t worry about watering the “plastic succulent.”


Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (Aussiedor), and Dot (beagle).

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (Aussiedor), and Dot (beagle).