We grow tired of people saying one thing and doing something completely opposite. I wonder what kind of a story would be uncovered if hidden cameras were installed in the church? What would that secret tape look like if they also shot some film when churchgoers were in their cars, at their jobs, and in their homes? I want to suggest that one of the reasons there are hypocrites in the church is because not all church people are Christians. Going to church will not automatically change anyone’s behavior. People go to church for all sorts of reasons—maybe out of habit or ritual, maybe to seek the truth, or perhaps to just network with other people. Some people just look like they’re Christians because they get up on Sundays and go to a place called a church. There’s a difference between being a sinner and being a hypocrite.
There’s an unspoken assumption that a Christian is someone who doesn’t sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, it’s just the opposite. To look at the church and see sinners is one thing. To label the church as full of hypocrites is another thing. Is there any hope for hypocrites? What if you’re a hypocrite? What should you do?
Hypocrisy is hideous. It’s a killing agent, and unfortunately hypocrisy is also addictive. Jesus reserved His most severe words of condemnation for the hypocrite. We still seem to prefer that lifestyle rather than honesty and truth. Jesus lashed out at the hypocrite 20 different times in the Gospels: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrite,” Matthew 6:2. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrite,” Matthew 6:5. “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrite,” Matthew 6:16. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye.” Matthew 7:5.
In Matthew 23, Jesus called religious pretenders hypocrites (seven times); fools (two times); blinds guides (five times); serpents and vipers (once). The cure is to stand before Jesus Christ and admit that you are a sinner, repent, and ask Him to bring about an eternal change in your life, setting you on your way to becoming all that God created you to be. Then when someone follows you around with a video camera, they’ll find something even more newsworthy than a holy hypocrite. It will show someone who has the courage to take off his or her mask and be real.
My weekly prayer is for the reader of this commentary to become spiritually inspired of God. Become an Intercessory Prayer Partner with EOF Ministry by sending for a copy of our Daily Prayer and Life Rededication Prayer. Contact EOF at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203. God bless!