How many times do we find ourselves saying “I’m fine”, “I’m O.K.” or “Everything is fine” when someone asks us how we are doing. If we find ourselves too often responding that all is “fine” when, in fact, it isn’t, then we very might well have a connection with the Pharisees that we read about in the Bible. The Pharisees, or “separated ones”, were the teachers of God’s laws. The Pharisees felt that as long as they were scrupulously following the law and fulfilling it faithfully that they would be in good standing with God. With this mindset, it seems that these experts of religion and the things of God may have been carrying the attitude that everything would be “fine” as long as they obeyed the numerous laws prescribed in the Old Testament.
What did Jesus have to say to the experts of the law who were the religious leaders?
Woe to you Pharisees, you frauds! You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, and leave the inside filled with loot and lust! Blind Pharisees! First cleanse the inside of the cup so that its outside may be clean. Mt. 23:25,26
Jesus knew that the emptiness in their hearts was not being touched by love. Following tons and tons of laws was not the answer to their heart’s cry for love, healing and meaning. Jesus knew that everything wasn’t “fine”. Our Lord knew that what they wanted most was the Father’s love to help them with the loneliness and pain of living.
When everything is always “fine” we are operating out of strength and we really don’t need God. As Christians, we are invited to celebrate the Father’s love in our weakness. How can we do this? We are challenged by the example of Christ to operate out of weakness instead of strength. In operating out of weakness we are challenged not to lie and say everything is “fine” when it isn’t. We are given the freedom to say we are hurting, lonely or fearful if that is truly where we are at. Unfortunately, I think many of us can deceive ourselves and others by lying about our true selves and saying things are “fine” when the contrary is true. There is no love in deception. How many times do we say we are fine when we aren’t?
The Father’s power reached perfection in Christ’ absolute weakness on the cross. Likewise, we can be perfected in the power of Christ’s love in our weakness. In 2 Cor. 12:9 St Paul says that is in our weakness that the power of Christ The key to experiencing the reality of God’s power and love is to become weak before God and the key way to become weak before God is to be weak before each other. By the way, how are you doing today?