Spotting Hypocrisy-

And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy~ Galatians 2:13 NIV

 Hypocrisy.

 It is perhaps the ugliest of all sins. Unlike pride the Bible makes it painfully clear that there is no such thing as a “healthy hypocrisy” or “good hypocrisy” (Romans 11:13, Galatians 6:4, Matthew 23:13:36, Matthew 24:51, Mark 7:6, Luke 6:42).

  God hates hypocrisy. Because Christians are commanded to live lives of sincerity (1st Timothy 1:5, Hebrews 10:22) and because hypocrisy is a pernicious sin that literally fools people into believing they are better and more moral than they really are. (Galatians 2:11-14).

 Hypocrisy literally hurts everyone. Hypocrisy hurts hypocrites because hypocrisy is a sin that makes the person sinning more comfortable with all forms of sin. Sooner or later all hypocrites buy into the lie that they really are as good as they think everyone thinks they are. Because of that, every hypocrite eventually gives up on things like confession, repentance and living a life of holiness (James 5:16, 1st John 1:9, Matthew 3:2, Acts 3:19, Romans 12:1). Instead, they simply settle for pretending. No one will ever reach their full potential in Christ if they simply settle for a life of pretending to be better than they really are. This is because authenticity or being real about who we really are is the key that unlocks the door to spiritual transformation in our lives. 

 Hypocrisy hurts churches because hypocrisy is contagious. Which is why some churches and denominations seem to have more of a problem with it than others. Any time one respected Christian leads a life of hypocrisy it doesn’t take long for others to figure out that it’s a whole lot easier to act holy when people are looking than to actually do the hard work of becoming holy. When Jesus warned His disciples concerning “the yeast” of the Pharisees and Sadducees he was referencing the infectious and trickledown nature of hypocrisy within the ranks of spiritual leadership  (Matthew 16:11).

 Hypocrisy hurts our ability to lead others to Christ because one insincere Christian can easily convince all non-Christians that hypocrisy and pretense is standard operating procedure for every Christian. In the process of dismissing all Christians as hypocrites they dismiss Jesus and the results of dismissing Jesus are tragic and eternal.

 Sigh.

 Like the sin of pride, the nature of hypocrisy is such that it is easy to spot hypocrisy in others but nearly impossible to see it in ourselves. Fortunately for us, Jesus doesn’t call His people to worry about the sins of others. He does call us to worry about our own sin. Hypocrisy is a sin Christians ought to spend a lot of time worrying about. Because hypocrisy is something the God who defines Himself as love hates (1st John 4:8 23:13-33, Matthew 24:51). Following are some signs you might have a problem with hypocrisy:

 You have two very different sets of friends-

 Having two very different sets of friends is not a problem per se. However, it is a problem if your behavior, attitude and speech is very different when you are with the different groups. If you spend a lot of time hoping that your divergent social circles never meet up you almost definitely have a problem that needs immediate attention.

 You judge others harshly-

Hypocrites are generally quite reluctant to admit they sin at all (1st John 1:9-10). They also tend to lack mercy and are weirdly judgmental towards the sins of others. Oftentimes hypocrites are the most judgmental towards people who have the same sin issues they do.

 You live a secret life-

We can easily fool ourselves into believing what we do when we’re by ourselves has no bearing on the rest of our lives. Truth-be-told it is possible to live a secret life for a long time without any obvious repercussions. But because God will not permit Himself to be mocked, sooner or later every choice we make will  become apparent to everyone (Galatians 6:7, Numbers 32:23) 

You have a problem with gossip-

 Not every gossip is a hypocrite, some gossips are refreshingly honest about their sin.  However, in my experience, every hypocrite is a gossip. Hypocrite’s tend to gossip because they secretly believe that sharing the sins and shortcomings of others will keep people from noticing their own sins and shortcomings.

 You will do ANYTHING to avoid looking bad-

 Hypocrisy is all about projecting an image of goodness and righteousness that the hypocrite KNOWS deep in their heart-of-hearts is false.  Because a hypocrites reputation and image is also their idol,  protecting the image is ultimately more important than anyone or anything else. Therefore a hypocrite will lie about and even knowingly slander another person in order to protect their own reputation because reputation is everything to a hypocrite.

 We all have singular moments of hypocrisy.

Anyone who claims otherwise is either fundamentally dishonest or more of a hypocrite than they know. That said, we should work tirelessly to root out all forms of hypocrisy in our lives because the behavior we tolerate in ourselves is the behavior that grows. Spotting hypocrisy in ourselves cannot happen without a bone-level commitment to brutal self-examination and a steely-eyed determination to live lives of openness and sincerity.

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