Isaiah 1:16-17: “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

Give up your evil ways – God says. What evil ways? To answer this question, let’s take a look at Prophet Isaiah’s preceding statement. Here goes (Isaiah 1:13-15):

“Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
    Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
    I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
   Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
    I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
    I am weary of bearing them.
   When you spread out your hands in prayer,
    I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
    I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood!”

A litany of things God absolutely hates:

  • Thoughtless gifts;
  • Celebrations void of any meaning;
  • Pretend-prayers;
  • Predator attitude;
  • Bloodshed;

Ask yourself how offensive it would be if your spouse only pretends to be in love with you and pursues extramarital activities behind your back. God has feelings too. Ignoring His values and blatantly disregarding other people while pretending to love Him is highly offensive to God.

Taking Him seriously is to respect His feelings. Honoring Him is to be honest with Him. That’s righteous living in a nutshell.

Doing good is a learning experience – since no one is born “good”. A lifestyle of doing good always develops over time. There is no shortcut to this lifestyle. We don’t age overnight, and we don’t turn into good people overnight. Pretending to be good won’t do. God wants us to be real since He is only interested in genuine relationships, not fake ones.

All of this is actually a compliment for us. Think about it this way: God pursues the real you. He won’t put up with a copycat.

Shed the copycat and let His waves of mercy wash all over you. Getting real is how you get clean.


All day I’ve faced a barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water

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