Hung Up On Hypocrisy
- June 17, 2018
- Jared Odenbeck
Ask someone to define hypocrisy, and you may hear “say one thing and do another” or “contradict oneself.” For me, these definitions merely explain sin. We all say one thing and do another. We all contradict ourselves daily. We proclaim our theological, spiritual, and religious beliefs from the rooftops but commit practical atheism in our chronic unbelief and grievous daily transgressions. If you say you aren’t a hypocrite, then you probably are. I realized today that I am the grandest hypocrite of all. Jesus
We all sin, but hypocrisy differs from sin in that hypocrisy extends one layer deeper into sin. Hypocrisy knows the Law, the commandments, and the precepts of the LORD, yet acts in ignorance as it aims to move on from iniquity without addressing it. Sin might stumble in lust. But, like David, hypocrisy aims to cover the lust by delving deeper into more sin (2 Samuel 12:5-8). Hypocrisy tries to justify itself and fails to repent and confess sin to others (James 5:16) because, at the bottom of at all, hypocrisy sees nothing wrong with itself and aims to protect itself rather than look to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
The tragedy of sin is that it almost always impacts those around us, not just ourselves. We do not take it seriously enough. Christ suffered such anguish in Gethsemane and on Golgotha because the guilt, the shame, the anguish, and the conviction we feel from our own sin was poured collectively onto him. “It was [our] sin that held him there,” and hypocrisy merely sets us away on a train that carries us further and further along the tracks of sin. It hurts us more. It hurts others more. It hurt Christ more.
But we can come out of hypocrisy, we do not have to remain as the Pharisees did and crucify Christ over and over. The antidote, the kryptonite, the cure-all for hypocrisy – and sin, for that matter, is repentance. If you stumble in sin – if you say you believe in the Law of the LORD and that obedience to its holiness is the best possible reality for your life, yet you act in rebellion towards it – but you confess your sin to others and before the LORD and repent and turn away from it and look upon his face, you will be saved from your transgression (Isaiah 30:15). Repentance unites you again with Christ. Repentance returns you to the narrow way. Repentance undoes hypocrisy and begins to walk the path towards forgiveness and healing.
Repent, and be healed.