As the students took their seats, the Professor was writing on the board:
H Y P O C R I T E
An unexpected hush quickly hit the room as each student waited to hear what the Professor would say next.
What do you think this word means?
“Doesn’t it mean to be two-faced, Professor?”
What does two-faced mean to you?
“Well, it’s someone who you can’t trust. Sometimes they are one way, sometimes they are another way, like being two people.”
The Greek word for hypocrite is hupokrites, meaning one who is like a stage actor or performer acting under a mask. Yes, it means a two-faced person, or someone who says one thing but does another. Someone who is a hypocrite is pretending to be someone they are not.
Dictionary definition of a hypocrite:
1. a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2. a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
“Sir, doesn’t everyone do that at one time or another?”
But yes, Believers and the unsaved both fall into this trap.
Some people live their whole lives as a hypocrite.
“Why is that?”
Lots of reasons.
Some of this sinful behavior is passed down from generation to generation. Being fearful of what others think of them and trying to measure up to someone else’s expectations can cause one to become dishonest. All deception is based on a lie and all lies can be traced back to the fall of man when satan lied to Adam and Eve.
“Did God really say…?”
And, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
Now, let’s look at a conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day.
“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, ‘Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
‘For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.’” (Mark 7:5-9)
Notice, the hypocrite is accusing the One who is standing in truth, along with His chosen disciples. Hypocrites desire to control, desiring for others to follow them.
Jesus went right to the root of their hypocrisy. Their hearts were far from Him and had no desire for truth. They were fleshly, carnal people who were very prideful and felt threatened by Jesus.
When humility and a desire for truth are cast aside, the heart becomes hardened seeking other things for satisfaction. Lies and the doctrines of men naturally fill the void. Their dignity and self-worth were not from God but rather from other people. They were willing to adapt themselves to a lie to get approval. Hypocrites put on different masks and play many roles to gain acceptance and gain praise from others.
Unbelievers live their lives this way…empty inside.
But when a Believer goes against his core beliefs, a sense of condemnation can take root. As a result, his spirit man can be repressed by the demands of trying to please others as that "stage actor," putting on different masks for different people. The result is compromise.
For a Christian to hide his true beliefs and try and be someone else will have negative results that will affect his stability and confidence. Furthermore, it becomes difficult for him to hear from God.
Definition of Truth: the manifested, veritable essence of a matter, facts, authenticity, accuracy, exactness, trueness, reliability, real, ideal, genuine, proven principle, law
Jesus said, “…when He the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth …”
Beloved, repent of hypocrisy. Don't be like the world around you.
Ask the LORD to help you to always be true and speak the truth.
He has given you The Helper to help you, no matter who you are with.
Read the Who I am in Christ Scriptures every day for two weeks.
It will root truth in you.
This is that… which God desires of you.
“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” (Ephesians 4:25)