The NBA has let its players put social justice messages on the back of their jerseys for this second part of the season. Some of the messages are “Black Lives Matter,” “Justice,” “Education Reform,” and my favorite, “I am a Man.” When I saw those jerseys I did not like them much at first, because I’ve seen so much virtue signaling in the past year or so. Virtue signaling is when you make sure that people know that are behind the cause that everyone else seems to be supporting, so that you stay in the stream of being a good company or a good person.
The sayings on the back of jerseys not only reminded me of other people’s virtue signaling, but also of my own. I am working on being just one person, but sometimes I am a hypocrite, just as you are.
Jesus had a lot to say to the Pharisees about hypocrisy. He points out that they tithed from their spice rack, but neglected more important things, justice, mercy and faithfulness. Jesus said that they were more concerned about the outside of the cup than the inside. Jesus said they were like whitewashed tombs—presentable on the outside but full of death on the inside.
If you want real change in your life, it will have to start from the inside and work its way out. Recently, I desired to become more generous. I took some time to remember that I am fully loved and accepted by God through his grace. I reflected on the ways Jesus was generous when he walked on the earth, and how he has been generous in our relationship. I asked Jesus to be generous in me—nothing short of a miracle—the living Christ giving through me. After all that I felt comfortable reflecting on some of the reasons that I am tempted to be stingy. I can think about those things more soberly because I’m not condemned, and I won’t be rejected. What do you want to change from the inside out?

From the Inside Out

Redeemer's Church