To be spiritually healthy is to be thriving in your desire to pursue Jesus and walking in the strength of the Holy Spirit. But spiritual health is tricky. We might be so obsessed with looking good outwardly that we fail to pay attention to what’s going on inside us. No wonder Jesus addressed the outwardly religious of His day with a scathing indictment. “Hypocrites,” He said. It’s not enough to just play the part outwardly. Spiritual health works from the inside out.

Discussion Questions

Have you known people who seemed to present “a good, Christian” exterior but were later exposed as creepy or evil? How would you describe your struggle with matching your inside attitudes with your outside behaviors?

Notice Jesus’ response to the Pharisees in Mark 7:5-7. What words from Isaiah did Jesus apply to this group of outwardly religious men? How can we today be guilty of the same sins?

Jesus reserved harsh words for the outwardly religious of His day—the scribes and the Pharisees. Read Matthew 23:1-13. Take a moment to highlight the specific behaviors Jesus criticized.

Read Matthew 23:23-28. Again, notice more characteristics of the scribes and Pharisees. Why does Jesus tell them to focus on the inside of the cup and dish first? What does that mean?

In spite of their impure motives, the scribes and Pharisees looked like upstanding, God-fearing people in their behavior. Read Matthew 5:20. How much better would you have to live to possess a righteousness that “exceeds” that of the scribes and Pharisees. Is it possible that the righteousness Jesus is describing is not connected with your outward behavior at all (compare Romans 3:21-26)?

Paul encourages young Timothy to exercise physically and spiritually. Read 1 Timothy 4:8. How are you exercising toward godliness, beginning first with your insides? How would you assess the health of your current spiritual condition?

Further Reading

Living Gratitude

David recalled his painful challenges as well as remembered God’s faithfulness. God often uses gratitude to ignite life change for us and encourage faith in him. How can we develop a discipline of gratitude to change our perspective on life? Read Psalm 40 paying...

Trusting God Through Transitions

Moving from one season of life into the next may cause us to face certain challenges. Successfully transitioning through those challenging conditions or situations involves trusting that God is always with us and is moving us forward even when it doesn’t feel like it....

Your Wonders of Old

Throughout the Bible, God tells people to remember. Maybe because we so easily forget. And there’s nothing better to call to mind than God’s faithfulness. His enduring faithfulness has been at work in the family of LifePoint Church for over 35 years. He has proven...

Learning Contentment

Contentment is one of those difficult to define qualities that’s even more challenging to put into practice and actually experience. Growing in this quality is a continual process that can’t be rushed. Whether you are very aware of your discontent or feel mostly...

Stand

What would it look like for you to stand strong in your life right now? At different times in life, internal and external pressures can force us to lose our footing and direction. As we near the conclusion of the letter to the Philippians, we find encouragement to...