COLUMN: Make the connection

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

By Pastor Willie White

“How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy full of greed and self indulgence!” (Matthew 23:25)

A few months ago, I read a particular article about a mental institution in Europe.

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In Europe, a particular sanitarium had a very antiquated way of determining whether or not an inmate was sane enough to be released back into society. They would put the patient into a janitor’s closet. Then they’d put a stopper in the sink and turn on the water.

The water would eventually overflow and the inmate would be given a mop and told to clean up the mess.

For about five minutes or so, the person would be left in the closet alone and a doctor would come back to check on him. If he was mopping the floor with the water still running, the doctor would know that the patient was not ready to go anywhere because he did not make the connection and fix the root of the problem. That patient would not be declared sane.

In our golden text, Jesus is teaching the people that true purity comes from the heart. Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing saintly and holy, but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed. Jesus was trying to get the religious leaders to make the connection from within.

Many people today are trying to mop up messes in their lives and families. And they are mopping hard.

The problem is, even with all of that effort, there is still a mess because no connection has been made between the cause and effect of the situation.

We must start with the cause or else we will forever be cleaning up. Make the connection in 2015. It starts within our hearts. Hot dog!

Willie White is pastor of Greater Saint Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brantley.