I’m Weary of Hypocrisy

I’m weary of people talking without listening to the words they speak. And they seem to be appearing in news headlines with appalling frequency.

I’m weary of Christians who say God is love, then spew hatred for unbelievers.

I’m weary of secularists who demand inclusion for every disenfranchised group under the sun, but exclude Christians.

I’m weary of protesters (left or right) who riot in the name of democracy, but deny the rights of others by destroying their private property. Hypocrisy

Ah, it’s easy for me to point fingers at people in the news. But then I’m convicted. What about my own behavior? A well-known adage observes that when I point a finger at another person, four fingers point back to me.  Sad to say, I’ve been guilty of living a hypocritical life, too.

I claim to trust God, then I worry about my situation.

I acknowledge that our sovereign God is in control, then try to manipulate my circumstances to fit my desires.

I say I love Jesus more than anything, then hold back when He gives me the opportunity to give to His work.

I claim to obey God’s call to serve Him joyfully, then prioritize my convenience over His service.

Can you relate?

Hypocrisy is not only found in the inconsistency of our words. It’s also demonstrated when our actions contradict our words.

If integrity is transparency and consistency between thoughts, words, and deeds, then my integrity has been overshadowed by hypocrisy more often than I’d like to admit.

I want to be a person of integrity.

No contradictions.

No disconnects.

No private agendas.

Instead, I’m as much a hypocrite as anyone else. And I need this prayer:

Heavenly Father, cleanse me from hypocrisy and inconsistency. May I live with complete transparency in my thoughts, words, and deeds. And may those same thoughts, words, and deeds be consistent with Your Word and the leading of Your Holy Spirit.

Will you pray this with me?

Masks on Stage

What do comic book superheroes and villains, children on Halloween, and masquerade balls have in common? 

You probably guessed masks. Masks conjure up images of mysterious strangers. Or sinister villains. Or heroic crime fighters. Or maybe just playful children.

theatre_masksWe associate masks with entertainment today, but people were just as familiar with them in ancient Greece and Rome. Stage actors often played multiple roles and wore masks to differentiate their various characters. And who hasn’t heard Shakespeare’s line, “All the world’s a stage…”? 

For thousands of years, masks have enabled us to pretend to be someone we’re not.

The ancient Greeks referred to play-acting as hypokrisis, from which we get our English word, hypocrite. Today, we think of a hypocrite as someone whose behavior is not consistent with what they claim to believe, what they truly think, or who they really are.

When Jesus criticized the spiritual leaders of His day, He called them hypocrites. They taught the people how to be close to God, but their hearts were far from Him. 

I’m not a comic book character or an actor. And I don’t wear a costume for Halloween. But I confess that I, too, have worn masks—not physically, but figuratively. I’ve said one thing while thinking the opposite. I’ve acted kindly, but with the wrong motives. I’ve put on a spiritual front, knowing I harbored unconfessed sin. In short, I’ve also been a hypocrite.

Thankfully, Jesus paid for all sin, including the sin of hypocrisy. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am determined to remove my mask and keep it off. 

Despite the fact that this week is associated with masks, will you join me?