I like the story about a member of the Methodist Church who came to her minister’s office one day and said, "Reverend, my dog died this morning and I want to know if you think it's all right to have a funeral for him. He was just like a member of the family." The minister was surprised by this strange request and said, "Yes, I guess it would be appropriate."
The grieving lady asked, "Reverend, who do I get to have the funeral?" He was not very pleased about the idea of having a funeral for a dog, so the pastor answered, "I have a very busy day tomorrow. Try the Baptist minister. Maybe he could help you." The woman said, "Thank you, Reverend, but how much should I pay the Baptist preacher, $200 or $300?" The eyes of the preacher lit up. He put his arms around her and said, "Why, my dear lady, why didn't you tell me that it was a Methodist dog?"
I’m not quite sure why I like this story, but I do. I guess I like it because it makes me laugh, and we all need a good laugh now and then.
Something else about this story. It drives home the point that sometimes we have a lack of sincerity in our lives. At times, all of us are guilty of that.
Jesus had strong words for those who lacked sincerity; for those who said one thing, but acted another way. He called them hypocrites. It’s not a very pleasant word, but it is a word that Jesus used time and time again.
My prayer is that God will forgive us for the times that our lives have not been consistent with our faith. May God help us to do better . . . starting right now.