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Monday, 17 June 2013

Seeing is believing - or is it?!

The Sunday morning BBC Radio 4 programme, BH (Broadcasting House), made a very basic error yesterday.  Listeners were informed that, at the G8 Summit meeting in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who are responsible for the security of the allegedly 'important' people who are attending, would be assisted by officers from England and Wales.  I have news for the BBC - there are Scottish officers there, as well!

fake shops
Butcher's shop in Belcoo.
However, the item of news that really caught my attention was that, throughout the county, empty shops and restaurants in towns and villages throughout the county have also had photographic images attached to their windows to make them look like thriving businesses.  These buildings are, in fact, derelict.  In spite of the outward appearance, they are empty and unused.  Anyone attempting to walk into one of them would receive a shock (and, perhaps, a sore nose!)

I was reminded that, towards the end of last year, one local bus company was advertising the fact that a new livery was going to be provided for Lanarkshire buses.  The new livery has gradually appeared and, in my opinion, it's very nice.  However, when I board a bus with the nice new livery, I see the same discarded copies of Metro (a free newspaper) lying on seats and on the floor; empty soft-drink cans rolling around; fast-food boxes, left there by who ever had consumed a 'burger or whatever.  The outward appearance doesn't reflect what is inside.

People, of course, can be the same!  As I frequently point out, not all who call themselves Christian are, in fact, disciples of Jesus.  Many look good on the outside - but on the inside there is no change!  They are able to go through the motions; they have their names on a membership roll; they are looked upon as 'pillars of society'.  However, they are seldom, if ever, seen at the midweek Fellowship and Prayer Meeting; they rarely, if ever, join with others at the Sunday evening Worship Service; their Bibles gather dust on a shelf in their homes, because they are only occasionally, if at all, lifted down to be read.  These are people who look good on the outside - but on the inside, are like a butcher's shop in Belcoo, or a newly-painted bus.

Jesus had some harsh words to say to all such.  Speaking specifically to the scribes and Pharisees of His day, he said: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt 23:27-28).

Let us constantly seek His grace - that we may be, inwardly, what we express outwardly!

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