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Outward Behavior

Wednes­day. [Rom. 1:18–27; Matt. 5:20–26] Ex­cept your righ­teous­ness shall ex­ceed the righ­teous­ness of the scribes and Phar­i­sees, ye shall in no case en­ter in­to the King­dom of Heav­en (Matt. 5:20). Char­ac­ter­is­tic of the scribes is knowl­edge of the law with­out con­cern for life ac­cord­ing to the law. Char­ac­ter­is­tic of the Phar­i­sees is cor­rect­ness of out­ward be­hav­iour with­out par­tic­u­lar con­cern for cor­rect­ness of thoughts and feel­ings in the heart. Both at­ti­tudes are con­demn­ed to re­main out­side of the heav­en­ly king­dom. Let ev­ery­one re­ceive from this the les­son he needs. If you want to learn the Gos­pel law, do so — but in a way that en­ables you to es­tab­lish your life ac­cord­ing to this knowl­edge. Try to be cor­rect in your be­hav­iour, but keep your in­ner feel­ings and dis­po­si­tions cor­rect at the same time. If you have gained some knowl­edge, do not stop there, but go fur­ther and un­der­stand the de­mands such knowl­edge makes of you — then act ap­prop­ri­ate­ly. Let your be­hav­iour show that your feel­ings and dis­po­si­tions are not the re­sult of externals, but such that your ex­ter­nal be­hav­iour pro­ceeds from your feel­ings and dis­po­si­tions, and ac­tu­al­ly expresss them. If you gear your­self this way, you will be higher than the Scribes and Phar­i­sees, and the doors of the king­dom will not be closed to you.

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