An Inside Job

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside may also be clean.” – Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Matthew

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We all have many different outside jobs but we all have the same inside job. Peace is an inside job. According to Jesus of Nazareth, the weightier things of the law (Torah law; spiritual law) are “judgement and mercy and fidelity.” 

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Judgement does not mean critical condemnation of others to support the illusion of your own supposed holiness. Judgement means seeing things as they are in the context of God’s love. Most of all, it means seeing yourself clearly, as God sees you. This is an inside job.

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Mercy flows from proper judgement because you realize who you are and who you are not. Seeing yourself clearly leads to seeing God’s mercy in your life, despite your faults and failures, then extending that mercy to others. This, too, is an inside job.

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Fidelity means being true to the spirit of God’s law, not rigid adherence to offical interpretations of it. This requires judgement and mercy. Love is God’s law; the law of nature and the law of human nature. It is a universal law, like gravity. If you break it you get hurt. Being true to God’s law in all things is an inside job.

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Holiness flows from wholeness not blind adherence to established laws and traditions. If the outside observance rests on the unfinished business of a neglected inner life, it is a charade; an outside job roughly equal to any other. If religious observance rests on the judgement, mercy, and fidelity of a healthy inner life, it is an inside job beyond compare.

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“If you bring forth what is within, what is within will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within, what is within will destroy you.” – Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Thomas

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