Where Relationships Thrive

B5310837-1999-479D-9B52-0BA7D6D47EAFLooks can be deceiving. It’s hard to believe that this peaceful village, on the Richmond-Lynchburg stagecoach road, was the scene of one of the last battles of the Civil War.

In April of 2018, we got to stand here, by the beautiful fields surrounding this serene community. They became battlefields, which claimed hundreds of casualties on both sides of the Civil War. Where there should have been happiness, there was bloodshed. Where there should have been joy, there was pain. Where there should have been hope, there was agony.

Appomattox Court House, or better known then as Clover Hill, Virginia, was just an obscure little village of people living their lives and minding their own business, when, all of a sudden, their world fell apart and became something they did not know. There’s nothing more disappointing than something appearing one way and then turning out totally differently. That’s especially true with people.

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8.

Here in Matthew 15, Jesus is revealing the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of that day. They were more interested in the outward elements of worship and traditions of man than in worshiping with a humble heart and being truly changed by Him. They cared more about impressing others than honoring God.

This Scripture is convicting, as it is true of believers of every generation. I certainly cannot point my finger at the Pharisees and pretend this Word is not for me, too. Sometimes, I’m ashamed to admit, I find myself concerned about what others think instead of caring about what God thinks.

It is troubling when people aren’t real and genuine – when our hearts don’t match our words. I don’t want to be that way with others, and I surely don’t want to be that way with God. Although it’s not easy, I would rather be genuine, even in all my flaws, because that’s where real relationships thrive – with God and with others.

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