Self-centred religion: Rod Chiswell

In Zechariah 7, God’s people come with a question about tradition and get an ear-full in return for their hollow and self-centred religion. When we act as if our churches exist merely to meet our needs, when we become precious about the way things are done and annoyed with change, we betray the same need today to hear their rebuke. This sermon flawed me.

God targets four areas his people had neglected (Zechariah 7:9-10):

1. Failure to administer true justice

  •  We should truly seek to hold accountable those in the wrong and vindicate those in the right.
  • When we see laws being made that fail to protect the innocent we should use our democratic system to make our voice heard as Christians.
  • Ordinary Christians can have an extraordinary power when we choose to speak against injustice.
2. Failure to show love and compassion

  •  Our ‘neighbour’ is the one who we come across who is in need. When we sanitise our lives by avoiding getting involved with the needy, we show hollow religiosity.
  • When was the last time you put your family out in order to help a needy person?
3. Failure to care for the vulnerable

  • Do we recognise and give priority to those in our midst who are vulnerable to oppression and exploitation: the single mother, the divorcee in pain, the widow, the foreigner?
  • These are the people we should be seeking to befriend, and with whom we should be sharing our lives and what we have.
 4. Failure to think good of others

  •  When we become critical of our society, judging other’s motives, failing to give them the benefit of the doubt, we fail in the same way.
  • Thinking badly of others leads to evil because it causes us to fail to love those around us.
  • God wants us to do good to our enemies, praying for those who hate us.

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