“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Hypocrisy for the Christian, it’s the false security; for the non-Christian, it’s the disillusion- ment that happens when you look closely at Christians’ lives. Christian hypocrisy is damaging to non-believers perhaps they get interested enough to move a step or two toward God, only to be knocked backward by what they see. They get up the courage to actually come to church, only to find people wandering through pointless rituals, they start to pray, only to have the biggest “Christian” in their office do something unethical and they think about believing in God, only to find the preacher more interested in what they can give than in their soul.
Hypocrisy is all about image over substance and we are a generation and a society that focus on our image more than ever before. There is a danger of becoming more focused on looking like we’re living a good life than in actually living a good life. There is a danger of becoming more focused on how we present ourselves than in how we really are.
Avoid hypocrisy by not judging your life solely on outward results. In our text today, Jesus is drawing massive crowds yet He is not impressed by them. He knows that the presence of the crowds does not indicate success, just as the eventual lack of crowds will not indicate failure. His goal is to remain obedient to His Father’s will, no matter what the outward results. Live a life where the inside matches the outside. Live a life where the reality matches the perception.
Know that the road toward hypocrisy goes downhill. Jesus tells us to “be on. . . guard” because the road to hypocrisy runs downhill. You don’t have to make a lot of extra efforts to get there, being hypocritical comes easily.
Hypocrisy thrives among the religious. If you claim to be a follower of God, this is something you have to watch out for. Begin to live life as an open book.
Garment of Praise
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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