Scripture ~ Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, 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.
Observation ~ These men loved, and were strict, in observing some of the outward things, "trifling ceremonies" (Gill) that bought them credit in public. The mint, anise, and cumin were not commanded by the law, but rather a tradition of the elders. However the harder things, (judgment, mercy, faith) that were commanded by the law, were laid aside. Judging a matter rightly is not always the popular thing to do, and it often leaves at least 50% of the parties involved unhappy. Having mercy is a rare spiritual gift these days - was it really much different back then? And faith: having it, encouraging it, praying for it ~ is this a public act that brings much attention and honor? No.
Application ~ Constant vigil. What am I doing? Why? From where is the conviction? Am I making the holding of my personal convictions more important than keeping the commandments of God?
Prayer ~ Father, you search me and know me, knowing my ever motive even before I do. Please Lord, guard me and guide me that I may not be a scribe, Pharisees, or hypocrite. Help me keep your commands heavier on my heart than my own personal convictions. Solo de gloria!