Hypocrisy is: ‘a feigning to be something you are not, pretense; not living out what you say you believe.’
What is on the outside is not what is on the inside. The word ‘hypocrite’ has a root meaning in Greek of ‘actor’, ‘pretender ‘or ‘dissembler’. Read Matthew 6:1-8 to see how Jesus explained this.
Jesus was an honest, godly and loving person who said what he meant and meant what He said. His thoughts, speech and actions were saturated in integrity. His ‘yes’ meant yes and His ‘no’ meant no! He didn’t indulge in duplicity, deceit, two-facedness or political correctness. The external kindness and integrity that He displayed were a reflection and expression of His internal, heart felt disposition. The external and the internal were in sync with each other, resulting in an absence of guile and hypocrisy.
Any tendency we have to be outwardly holy but inwardly corrupt needs to be ruthlessly exposed and removed (a Pharisectomy!). Anything that is a ‘sham’ is best brought to the cross and exchanged for holiness and honesty. It’s sobering to realise that Jesus reserved His criticism and condemnation for those who exemplified hypocrisy by their religious legalism and self-righteous arrogance.
How are we doing with the outworking of this in our lives?
This, therefore, is the example He left for us to replicate as His followers. So we need to ask how we are doing with the outworking of this in our lives (ouch!)
“You outwardly seem just and upright to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:28)
“Knowing their hypocrisy Jesus asked them ‘Why are you testing Me?'” (Mark 12:15)
“Make sure you are not swayed by the hypocrisy and phoniness of religious leaders.” (Luke 12:1)
“Wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and humble. It’s filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form.” (James 3:17)
“The Lord hates double standards – hypocrisy at its worst!” (Proverbs 20:23)