What We Can Learn from Gnat-Strainers

This devotion discusses modern-day Pharisees and what they can teach us.

One of the women mentioned her favorite popular song, and Jez immediately spoke up. 

“I only listen to Christian music,” she said proudly and condescendingly. 

Jez faithfully attended Bible studies and was involved in good works in the church. But she was known for her critical, unforgiving spirit.

She obviously felt that her choice of music was more important than her attitudes.

Jez isn’t a real person, but most of us have met people like her. 

They are the people in the church who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel, clean the outside of the cup but let the inside remain filthy (Matthew 23:23-26). 

They honor God with their words but not their hearts (Matthew 15:8-9).

They may be perpetual baby Christians, or they may be weeds planted in our churches by Satan. (See Bottle-fed Christians and Don't Listen to Weedy Messages.)

Either way, we can learn from their bad example. It’s easy for any of us to neglect the inward aspects of our faith (the camels) and start focusing on the externals (the gnats). 

I don't want to do that, and I'm sure you don't either. So let's make sure we're:

💙 Renewing our minds in God’s Word. 

💙 Repenting of our sins. 
💙 Forgiving those who’ve offended us. 
💙 Praying about our words and our thoughts.

💙 Judging ourselves before judging others.


Note: It's important to be discerning with our music choices. See Praise Music Therapy and Music Appreciation. But it doesn’t replace forgiveness, humility, and grace. For a fuller understanding of the verse on gnats and camels see these 1-minute devotions: Did Jesus Really Say That About Swallowing a Camel? and Straining Gnats

This devotion discusses modern-day Pharisees and what they can teach us.

Bible Love Notes


  1. I sooo appreciate you!
    Thank you so much.
    Your words bless me deeply.
    Dear Lord, Thank you for the way You have gifted this precious woman. Continue to guide and direct her steps. Make clear to her the clarity she is seeking. Keep her safe, strong and healthy in body, mind and spirit. All because of Jesus I ask,