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2nd December 2022


Like a Hypocrite


“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."

Matthew 23:23



A friend of mine, who is a minister in the Reformed Church, told me about a young man who had stopped attending the church where he was the pastor. When my friend visited the young man at home, the young man said that when he was at work, he would sometimes lose his temper and treat co-workers poorly. Then, when it was Sunday, he did not want to go to church because he felt like a hypocrite.


The minister told the young man, “A hypocrite is someone who acts like something he is not. When you come to church, you are acting like a Christian. You are not a hypocrite at church.” Suddenly, the young man realized where he was being a hypocrite. He recognized that the answer was not in avoiding church, but in changing the way he was at work.


The term hypocrite is from a Greek word that means “play-actor.” It means we pretend to be something we are not. Sometimes we forget our true identity as believers in Jesus. We forget that we are accountable to God. When we do that, we live the way we “once walked” (Eph. 2:2) and thus are hypocrites.


Let us not let our old ways make us act like someone we are not. Instead, through God’s grace, let us each live in a way that shows we are “alive together with Christ” (v 5). That’s a sure cure for hypocrisy.


Read

Matthew 23:23-36.

Prayer

God of all ages, help me to always be true, in my words and actions. In Christ, I pray. Amen.




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