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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: The Lord Does Not See As Man Does
 

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  March 1, 2020 --

The LORD does not see as man does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

So He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is prized among men is detestable before God.  Luke 16:15 In the above passages and in other places in Scripture it is made plain that when God judges our actions or our merits it is what is in our hearts and our minds that is of greatest importance. Are our actions a desire to follow God’s commandments to love the Lord and to love our fellow members of humanity, or rather are they an attempt to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others?

This article will appear in the middle of the Christian observance of Lent, a 40-day season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. It has been the tradition of many people over the years to “give up” something for Lent, and/or include days of fasting. While both of these are practices which may be good for many of us, there is no Biblical injunction that we observe Lent by doing so. In fact, Lent itself is not mentioned in the Bible, but rather is the Church’s means of honoring Jesus’s 40 days of sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert after the baptism of John.

There are some who make a great show of fasting or of giving up certain things during Lent: “No thanks, I can’t have coffee or dessert; I’m giving it up for Lent”. But Jesus warns against this sort of behavior: “When you give up eating, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are giving up eating.  I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full

reward. So when you give up eating, comb your hair and wash your face. Then people will not know that you are giving up eating, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18.

Yes, Lent is a time of prayer, repentance, and sacrifice, but do it to please God, not to impress others.

 

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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