The Hidden Sin

Luke 12:11 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.(NIV)

No one who identifies themselves as Christian went into the faith hoping that they would become hypocritical. Hypocrites are those people who claim to have certain values and priorities, but betray them in the course of living. We recognize them, but they rarely recognize it in themselves.

Eugene Peterson, in his book, "Talk it Slant", states that hypocrisy is the "silent killer". We rarely recognize that we have it before it nearly kills us. The truth is that we all have betrayed our values through our behavior. Whether it is as subtle in having pride in our humility, or as obvious as being selfish in our serving, we have all experienced hypocrisy. The degree of your hypocrisy may be based upon your willingness to see it in your life. The more self-righteous (hence the inability to see your own sin), the higher the degree of hypocrisy.

In fact, the Christian walk is a journey into purity. Purity is defined as being the quality of one thing. When we begin our Christian walk, we develop standards in which we are not living in harmony with. Through the process of sanctification, we begin to harmonize our practice with our spiritual position. This is why it is such a joke to say "That church is filled with hypocrites". The answer is it sure is. Unless you are perfect, then your practice is at odds with you values.

This is not to say that we should tolerate or promote hypocrisy. However, it does suggest that we must understand Jesus command that we not judge others, because only by the grace of God are we able to live for him. This is the sin of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were not wrong in desiring a high standard for Godly living, but they were wrong in assuming their own self-righteousness.

Do you suffer from sin blindness? Are you an expert in identifying hypocrites in your local congregation, but fail to see your own weaknesses and inconsistencies. Jesus told us to take the plank out of of our own eye first, before removing the speck in another's. In fact, the one thing that is evident in Jesus' command is that our own problem are typically a lot larger than the problems we see in others. This is not to keep us depressed, but to keep us from being conceited and inappreciative.

If you are concerned about hypocrisy, begin with yourself and allow God to make you a instrument of growth for others.

May god bless you,

Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M TraylorComment