Don’t we all hate hypocrisy? We are always so disappointed when we find out someone isn’t what they have presented themselves to be.
Hypocrisy can be defined as the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. Hypocrite is the Greek word for actor—the idea of putting on a mask. Hypocrisy includes pretense, flattery, deception, hidden agendas, and posturing.
Parents, have you ever said, “Do as I say not as I do!” Our kids may respond, “I’m sorry, but what you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say!”
How Do We Guard Ourselves from Being a Hypocrite? On March 30, 33 AD Jesus rode into Jerusalem on donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech. 9:9). He was blessed as the Son of David who came in the name of the Lord. The people cried out for Him to save them now (which is the meaning of Hosanna.) This was the exact day when the Jewish people selected their Passover lamb to be examined for four days to make sure it was without blemish before it was sacrificed.
The people had four days to examine the life of Jesus to see that He was unblemished as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world before He was to be sacrificed on Friday. On Monday, (March 31st) Jesus was in the Temple area when He taught how to guard against hypocrisy (see Matt. 23).
Jesus taught that hypocrites:
Ÿ close the kingdom of heaven to others through legalism
Ÿ convert people to a works-based religion
Ÿ covet the things of God instead of God Himself
Ÿ have no heart for justice, mercy, and faithfulness
Ÿ are greedy and self-indulgent
Ÿ are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness
Ÿ reject God’s truth and His call to repentance
You may be feeling guilty for being a hypocrite when your life does not line up exactly with what you say you believe. For instance you say that as a Christian you believe should love people unconditionally, but feel badly because often you fail at being loving toward everyone. This does not make you a hypocrite, however. Hypocrisy doesn’t mean you never sin, but that you pretend you never sin. The hypocrite is unwilling to admit that they fall short of the standards they say they believe.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are some who say that they want nothing to do with God or the church because it is filled with hypocrites. But if a hypocrite is standing between you and God then at least he’s one step closer to God than you are! Don’t give hypocrites so much power over you that they keep you from truly knowing the Lord.
HOW TO COMBAT HYPOCRISY:
- Know That God Won’t Tolerate Hypocrites.
Job 13:16 (NKJV) He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
- Believe That the Hypocrite Will Ultimately Be Exposed.
Numbers 32:23 (NLT) But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
- Don’t Judge Others.
Romans 2:1 (NLT) You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
- Love Without Hypocrisy.
Romans 12:9 (NKJV) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
- Ask the Lord to Search You for Any Hypocrisy.
Psalm 139:23–24 (ESV) Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
We are called to be real. We honor the Lord when people see us as authentic, genuine, honest and loving…even with flaws and all. Let’s rid ourselves of all posturing and hypocrisy.
Onward getting real,