Hypocrisy means to profane, to be godless, to act insincerely, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

NIV-Matthew 7: 3-5
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye".

There are hypocrites in all walks of life, where an outward pretence masks an inner reality. This also applies in the matters of Christianity. God's Word condemns hypocrisy. Jesus criticised all hypocrisy, for it increases the self-righteousness of those who display it. Unkind criticism tries to take the form of a kindly act, it is evil parading as good.

A hypocrite is a person who pretends to be moral and honest when in fact they are not. Some people know they are false and some people don't. Some believe they are truly virtuous, when they are in fact judgmental and proud. There is a complete absence of the awe of God, which leads to rebellion. Hypocrisy involves disrespect for God's character, His deeds, words and His chosen workers. It brings judgement upon those who think and act in this manner.

Jesus portrays a hypocrite as someone who is legalistic and has an empty spiritual life who can deceive other people and lead them astray from The Word of God. Jesus treated hypocrisy as the most wicked state of spiritual conditions. He had patience with sinners, but with hypocrites He showed neither patience nor sympathy.

The standard of righteous conduct has been laid down by God on His principals and commands that are revealed in His Word.

There are problems with devout people and hypocrisy. Some of these people pretend to be what they are not. Hypocrites think they are righteous examples of godly living to everyone around them. They feel pleasure or satisfaction over something conceived highly honourable or creditable to themselves.

Hypocritical people are full of pride, who work hard to win favourable public opinion. Those who have pride, live apart from the teachings of Christ. Hypocrites do a lot of harm amongst others who trust them. They adore the admiration of others even when they know they do not deserve it.

Hypocrites put themselves above others, condemning and judging them. When God judges, He is just, when hypocrites judge, they are dictatorial, unreasonable and harsh. These characteristics of hypocrites are in opposition to the purpose and love of God.

Believers are to express their commitment to God in their words and deeds, as well as any inner motivation. The expression of hypocrisy stems from insincere motives, when deeds do not match the words spoken, especially as there is a tendency to judge others unjustly.

Hypocrisy is not to be found in Christian Leaders nor in Christian lives. Hypocrisy can bring double-mindedness, typical of insincerity. God requires wholeheartedness from His people, both in their dealings with others and in their worship of Him. The Bible teaches sincerity and honesty towards Himself by the people of His creation and the same is expected towards other people.

All need to study The Word of God as this helps to avoid being a hypocrite.

A hypocrite fosters self-righteousness and false security. Hypocrites were among those who engineered the death of Jesus; they were opposed totally to Him and His teachings, regarding their proud positions.

Hypocrisy is totally contrary to the nature and purposes of God. The gospel is grounded in trustworthiness, whereas hypocrisy is based on self-deception.

Christians are not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously, but use discernment to evaluate a person's character. Scripture repeatedly encourages believers to judge between good and bad, regarding both people and teachings. The Christian is to test everything. Christians do have to discern in order to obey the commands and principles of God. Jesus taught that His followers were to discern the difference of right and wrong, condemning unjust hypocritical judging.

There is a righteous kind of judgement that Christians are to exercise with careful discernment, but a hypocritical, self-righteous judgement is unfair. Even though Christians may not judge those outside the Kingdom of God, a Christian must have a sense of understanding, of discerning God's principles and that which opposes them.

A hypocritical person has a tendency to value their own rules and regulations over Scripture, and appear to be righteous, yet their heart is filled with grudges. Hypocrisy pollutes, is ungodly, conceited. It is feigning to be what is not. Self-righteousness is an illusion.

One aspect of hypocrisy is doing good deeds to attract applause from those who see them. Hypocrites seek titles for prestige and power, not for the purpose to serve others. Hypocrites fail to be obedient in significant matters such as justice, mercy and trust. This type of person emphasises one area, usually a law, at the expense of another.

Christians can become preoccupied with external rules and regulations forgetting the principles behind them are forgotten. Many people call themselves Christians, yet they do not live by the pattern shown by Jesus, especially by His example of love. Actions must match the belief of Christianity that is professed.

All discipleship is to be carried out with a humble attitude of servanthood. A hypocrite takes man-made rules as seriously as God's Laws, tells other people to obey them, yet does not do so themselves. They make sure that they look good to others, but they do not live holy lives, even though they know God's Word.

Love of self and greed for importance and position grows stronger than loyalty to God. Power makes people lose sight of God and causes blindness to emulate Christ. Hypocritical persons pretend to obey God's Word, but consistently violate His Commandments. Jesus desired genuine commitment, both morally and spiritually.

Hypocrites judge others, bringing judgement upon themselves. All judgemental attitudes are condemned. There is also an attitude of ungratefulness found amongst hypocrites.

People should not judge rashly, especially on the basis of a single act, for only God knows the heart.

The spiritual condition of a hypocrite is woeful, living their belief at a disadvantage until they come to repentance. The way a hypocrite lives usually in time exposes itself to others and they are seen for who they are.

NIV Micah 6:8
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".

SCRIPTURES Isaiah 29:15, Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 6:2.
QUESTIONS 1] What is the origin of hypocrisy? 2] What is the expression of hypocrisy? 3] Does a hypocrite have the tendency to judge others?

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