Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation. Lk 20:46-47
What a surprise it will be for some people when they wake up in Hell. These are the people who have deceived themselves into thinking they are servants of the Lord just because they wear a robe or talk from a pulpit on Sunday mornings.
Being a religious person is not, in of itself, a virtue. Many, many people use religion as a means to promote themselves, or for dishonest gain, or for notoriety and popularity. The scribes (who were very religious people) in the above passage loved the recognition of being religious. They liked the idea of being Holier-than-thou. They liked it when people would say, “Hello, Reverend!”
People who put themselves in this position are setting themselves up for the ‘greater condemnation.’ God’s judgment is particularly fierce on those who should be examples of godliness, but are instead a disgrace and a hypocrite.
Serving the Lord in ministry is about serving people. It’s about lifting others up and not yourself. It’s about caring for the orphans and the widows. It’s about washing each other’s feet when they are stinky and dirty. It’s about less of you and more of HIM. Like John the Baptist said, “I must decrease, He must increase.” What a humble statement! This is how a minister ought to live. God help us all.