“THE LOVE OF CHRIST URGES US ON” (2 Cor 5:14)
????1 Thess 2:9-13; Ps 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12ab (R.v.1); Matt 23:27-32
What would you consider as being responsible for the differences in the actions of Paul and his companions and that of the Pharisees? In 1 Thess 2:1-8, we see how Paul used his good works to correct the bad impressions being created of him and his companions, while Jesus condemned the Pharisees for hypocrisy (cf. Matt 23:23-26).
Paul continues those proofs in 1 Thess 2:9-13 while Jesus continues his continues his condemnation of the Pharisees in Matt 23:27-32. But note that, just as Paul was proving himself good, the Pharisees were also considered by the people as good – an impression they created for themselves as Paul is just doing.
Both actions look the same. However, the objects of the good deeds in both sides are not the same. The object of the good deeds in the Pharisees was themselves. But the object of that in Paul is God and the desire to preach the good news.
What is it that motivates your religious actions? Is it to enhance your ego or to respond to the love of God? Doing so for ego denies us of heavenly rewards (cf. Matt 6:1).
May the Holy Spirit purify our intentions so that we may channel our religious deeds rightly, for our salvation and that of the whole world. Amen.
I wish you happy and successful day ahead. Peace be with you.