Read: Matthew 23
“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. (Matthew 23:2-3)
Let’s be perfectly clear about this: Sin is sin, and no matter what level of sin it is, it is always offensive to a holy God. Sin corrupts; it corrodes the soul; it prevents the blessings of God and if not dealt with, will cause the gift of eternal life to be forfeited.
Having said that, have you noticed how Jesus seems to rail against one particular sin more than others? Jesus doesn’t beat up on prostitutes and thieves and good old run of the mill garden variety sinners like he does religious hypocrites. Just read through this chapter and you will see what I mean.
Hypocrisy is intolerable to God; religious hypocrisy is especially repugnant. It is the worst indictment the Divine could lay against you. To say one thing and to do another; to believe one way and live a different way; to teach people one thing and to personally practice another in the name of Christ will arouse God’s disdain like no other.
Why? Hypocrisy is the height of deceitfulness. It layers the heart act by act with calluses that will eventually prevent the Holy Spirit from doing his work: Convicting us of sin. It lures gullible followers into the same destructive patterns of incongruent beliefs. And perhaps worst of all, it hardens those who are turned off by the religious hypocrisy they witness among God’s so-called people from ever wanting to have anything to do with Jesus Christ.
How many times have you heard an angry, hardened unbeliever say, “If that’s what Christianity is all about, I want nothing to do with it!”? How sad! It may be that the hypocrisy they’re reacting to will close the door of their heart for all eternity to God’s offer of salvation.
The challenge with hypocrisy is that it is so hard to spot in your own life. Again, it is so effectively evil because of its power of deception and the hardening of the heart that it wreaks. However, if you are willing to lie very still on the Great Surgeon’s table and allow the Holy Spirit to apply the scalpel to your heart, I am confident that he will expose and excise any hypocrisy that has taken up residence.
Are you courageous enough to allow him to do some spiritual surgery on you today?
“Hypocrisy desires to seem good rather than to be so; honesty desires to be good rather than seem so.” ~Arthur Warwick
What If God Took Over?
Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to you, expose any hidden and unknown sin and remove anything that could hinder or destroy you relationship with God.