The vileness of Hypocrisy [Part 3]   Leave a comment

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

We have seen previously what hypocrisy is and how much God abhors it. How then to deal with it?

Jesus said:“So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.” Mat. 23:3

The tongue

First thing to deal with, is the tongue. Think whether you practice what you tell others to do. The heart also needs to be transformed for “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks“.

Your aspirations

Are you in the right place?

Jesus said:

And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. ” Mat 23:6

Be true to yourself. Stop doing things to please others or to receive compliments. If you acknowledge that you’re in the wrong position, resign. The Pharisees wanted to be at the head table and seats of honor. Not so with a servant of Christ.

Paul said:But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Cor. 15:10

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead” Gal 1:1

Your zeal

Redirect your zeal and objectives.

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!” Mat. 23:15

If the fruits of your ministry bring no glory to God but to self, reconsider your ways. Make sure that those you have influenced or who follow you are no longer “children of hell” but built up in Christ.

Your external appearance

“Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.” Mat. 23:5

The way you dress, speak or behave to impress others have their roots in hypocrisy. Proving that you know the whole scripture and can recite long verses is for your own good. There’s no need to prove it to others. It will be an act of super spirituality. Many dress up in white, fast to be seen or make long prayers to appear religious. It could also be the impulse to buy things you cannot afford to level up yourself with others. Whatever is done to impress others is hypocrisy.

The advantages

Get rid of the advantages which make you live in hypocrisy.

They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.” Mat 23:7

We saw that the Pharisees liked to have privileged seats and receive honors. Abandon all advantages usurped through hypocrisy. Do not receive compliments or gifts that will make you puff up with pride.

Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters... And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Mat. 27:8-10

The subtle desire to control

As mentioned above, hypocrite people seek their own advantages. They seek their own interest and fear that someone else gets above them. They are selfish and don’t really care for others. What then is the remedy?

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Phil. 2:3

This is what the Pharisees did:

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either” Mat. 23:13

What sort of vileness can there be in someone’s heart that leads him/her to make it difficult for people to know more about God? This is a crime that God will personally deal with. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were those who had access to knowledge and should have been shepherds to feed God’s flock. They were rather ravenous and pitiless wolves who destroyed the flock. They acted as barriers to those who wanted to know the truth about God. The Pharisees made simple truths about God become complex and thus making God someone difficult to come close to. Through long and many prayers, alms giving, scripture recitation, fasting, different kind of abstinence and self-denial, the Pharisees made it a burden for people to draw near to God. Many such ordinances appeared to be glorifying God but were in themselves man-made laws.

They don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden” Mat. 23:3

With much indignation our good Lord called them brood of vipers.

Yes to law but no to love

For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” Mat. 23:23

When the Pharisee saw Jesus disciples eating crops(Mat 12) on the Sabbath day or whenever Jesus healed on the Sabbath, they considered Jesus a law breaker. Hypocrites have no sense of justice, mercy, love and faith in them. Give them a stone and they will kill the first adulterer they see. They will mercilessly judge others because they have a high opinion of themselves. Since they think they are saints they will pass on judgement to remove the speck from people’s eyes (Mat.  7:5).

Let us first judge if our heart is right (1 Cor 11:31) before pin-pointing the flaws of others. Basically, humility is the cure to hypocrisy.

 

 

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Posted June 13, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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