Even so, on the outside you appear righteous but, on the inside, you filled with hypocrisy and evil doing. Matthew 23:28
Fancy Nancy is one of my favorite children’s book characters. She’s over the top and can’t be outdone in the “Ooo-La-La department.” She’s all about the “look” of things and as I read this line from Matthew’s Gospel I thought of a list of ways I’m like Fancy Nancy. Although I love that book character being a Fancy Nancy Christian is probably not the direction I should be headed.
I spoke at a conference recently and as I was chatting with some folks after the talk one very blunt little lady asked a question that’s been bouncing around in my heart ever since. She thanked me for the talk and spoke of ways she would carry it with her but then she asked, “Was this the real you or was this just for the stage?” I swallowed and quickly said the Come Holy Spirit. Come Now. Come as you wish prayer before I spoke and then listened to the words that came from my mouth. I replied to her question, or rather the Holy Spirit did with these words, “Oh gosh, I sure hope I am; I sure try to be but I guess that’s a question I’d really better to take to prayer and ask Jesus how to answer truthfully.” Instead of being insulted or embarrassed, I saw it as an invitation to ask myself a hard question.
Since that big question is still sitting on my heart these words from St. Matthew’s Gospel, reminded me He wasn’t done teaching yet. The line I chose from this Gospel is the softer verse. The line before it Jesus uses the term “white washed tombs full of dead mans bones.” That seemed a little harsh and then Fancy Nancy popped in my mind. After a giggle, the connection made sense. I do love Jesus and I do try to be joyful and humble but what about those times when I’m not.
Fancy Nancy is all about the look so the question is, do I worry about how I look to the world or how I look to the Father?
Fancy Nancy is all about the shock and awe so the question is, am I in awe because of all God does or is my focus simply on what He’s doing for me when it happens to match what I wanted?
Fancy Nancy is out to impress so that creates two questions. Who am I trying to impress with my “holiness” and would living my faith look different if nobody was looking?
Fancy Nancy does everything for attention so I have to ask myself if where I sit, the books and stuff I carry into church with me or what I wear are all done with the right motivation.
Fancy Nancy is light hearted, whimsical and always looking for more. She has an aversion to the plain and simple. When I think about it, she is the opposite of what Jesus was speaking about in this Gospel. St. Matthew and Fancy Nancy have made me see the lady’s question with truthful eyes. This unlikely duo has made me realize how often I need to stop and ask myself if what the world sees matches what Jesus sees.
A Seed To Plant: Take some time to read chapter 23 of Matthews Gospel and ask the Lord to show you where He might be whispering a shift.
Blessings on your day!
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