Hypocrisy as a behaviour in which somebody pretends to be more spiritual than he really is. It is a behaviour in which somebody pretends to have moral standards or opinions that he does not actually have. Anyone who pretends to be spiritual is a hypocrite.
A hypocrite is never genuine or sincere. He seeks to impress people so that he can gain their approval. He is more concerned about his reputation than his character, that is, what people thought about him than what God knows about him.
Jesus hates hypocrisy. This was the reason why He told His disciples to beware of hypocrisy which was a common habit in the lives of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1-3).
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT A HYPOCRITE?
1. He destroys his neighbour with his mouth (Prov 11:9).
2. He gives alms to people in public places only so that he can receive approval and praises from men (Matt 6:2).
3. He loves to pray in the public places only so that he would be praised by people (Matt 6:5). He doesn’t pray to receive blessing from God rather praises from human beings.
4. During fasting periods, he disfigures his face and goes about his business with a sad countenance. He makes it obvious to people around him that he is fasting (Matt 6:16).
5. He lives a sinful life yet condemns other sinners (Matt 7:3-5).
6. He does not do what he preaches (Matt 23:1-4).
7. He protects his reputation but care less about God’s opinion about him (Matt 23:5-7)
8. He only obey God’s commandments when and if it is convenient for him (Matt 23:23).
9. He is outwardly righteous but inwardly full of iniquities (Matt 23:27-28).
THE DANGERS OF BEING A HYPOCRITE
1. He is an accursed person.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in (Matthew 23:13).
2. He lives a hopeless life. His future is not guaranteed and secured by God.
Can the rush grow up without mire? Can the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish(Job 8:11-13)
3. He lives in fear. He knows no peace of mind.
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
4. He is a victim and candidate of God’s wrath.
Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on the fatherless and widows: for everyone is a hypocrite and evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (Isa 9:17)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation (Matt 23:14)
5. His almsgiving attracts no blessing from God and his prayers are unanswered by God also.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward…. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward (Matt 6:1-2, 5)
HOW TO OVERCOME HYPOCRISY
The remedy for hypocrisy is having reverential fear for God (Prov 8:13, 2 Cor 7:1). To fear God is to hate sin and love God sincerely. Anyone who loves and fear God obeys His commandments in spite of criticisms from men.
Are you a hypocrite in thoughts and actions? If you are, please amend your ways.