Updated: Sep 14, 2020
The definition of hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform.
The subject of hypocrisy is addressed in the New Testament over fifteen times. On every occasion, it is confrontational in tone. And, in all but one of these instances, it is Jesus himself who is leading the charge.
In his first recorded sermon, Jesus immediately addresses the subject -- multiple times!
Matthew 6:2 - Hypocrisy in Generosity
Acting as though gifts are given from a desire to serve others when in truth the desire is to be affirmed by the public.
Matthew 6:5 - Hypocrisy in Prayer
Acting as though prayer is being offered in sincerity when in truth the desire is to be seen by other men.
Matthew 6:16 - Hypocrisy in Fasting
Acting as though fasting is taking place out of hunger for God when in truth the desire is to be acknowledged by others as religious.
Matthew 7:5 - Hypocrisy in Judgement
Acting as though we are concerned about the smallest of things in someone’s life when in truth we desire to divert attention from the big issues in our own life.
Clearly, Jesus’ preference for us doesn’t fully align with Webster’s definition of hypocrisy. Because according to verses we’ve just read, Jesus isn’t solely interested in our behavior. Instead, he desires that we will do all things -- behave at all times -- with purity in our ambition. And, according to his own words, when this approach takes precedence in our lives, we will get to partner with Him in whatever it is that we have committed to, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Invite God to reveal your heart to you. Is there any place in your innermost being that needs more sincerity and authenticity? If so, pray Psalm 51 over your life and invite God to give you a clean heart.
Watch Pastor Eric's Message on this subject: One Mask You Should Never Wear