1 Timothy 5:24-25 – Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Where I grew up in the Southern United States, covered dish suppers are a big part of the church experience. They vary a little in content from one place to another, but there are always local favorites such as crawfish in Louisiana mixed in with Southern classics like macaroni and cheese. Between local fare and traditional dishes are always some different items that someone brought as an experiment, or because they only remembered to bring something at the last minute.
One thing that seems true at every church where I have enjoyed such a supper is the specialties. These are dishes that some bring because they are known for it, like pecan pie or sweet potato souffle, and people are upset when their expected favorite is missing. All visitors are encouraged to try a spoonful or a slice of these selections with a well meaning voice saying, “You must try this one. Mrs. Smith has been bringing this for 30 years.”
The works of our loves are like these covered dish suppers. Some of what we do is out of habit and other things are purposefully and specially thought out. Still others are hastily done while others are a labor of joyful love that we do as much for ourselves as others. Oftentimes we know exactly what to expect from someone. Yet we are still surprised by acts of particular kindness or evil.
As disciples of Christ we are commanded to judge very carefully and only after dealing with our own sins. To do otherwise puts us on par with the enemies of Jesus, to whom the Master said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).
Now I bet your next church supper will take on a whole new meaning. Be sure to enjoy some pie. They’ve been bringing it for years! But what are you going to take? Whatever it is just don’t forget the weightier matters. Those are always a hit.