Righteousness over sacrifice
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Proverbs 21:3 (ESV)
In the context of this passage, the Hebrews, God’s chosen people, would offer sacrifices to the Lord to pardon their sin against Him. They would use animals, or use their crops, as an offering to God to account for their unrighteous acts against Him. While sacrifice was a form of worship, we know as Christians that sacrifices are not the only things that please God. There’s something more to it than just sacrifice.
God doesn’t want our outward religious observances. He wants our heart. Performing rituals and acts of kindness don’t mean anything unless there’s heart and attitude behind it. There’s a difference between being a Christian and acting like a Christian. If you do something nice for your parents, friends or spouse, but then you grumble and act bitter the whole time, it isn’t really genuine. God can see the heart of a person. Actions may speak louder than words, but your attitude is what makes the actions meaningful.
We have to understand what it truly means to follow God. God is not interested in our actions unless there is faith behind it. Doing church is not enough unless their is faith behind it. We must be pleasing to God with our attitude. Jesus showed love to us through His actions and his actions were motivated by love. That act of love was itself a sacrifice that covers our sins. The love that God has for us should motivate us to do things for others with a joyful heart. The intent of our actions should go hand-in-hand with the message of the gospel.
This week, reflect on how God can change our hearts to motivate our actions. Let those actions show signs of kindness and love before others.