How to Avoid Personal Hypocrisy

Ever tried to tell if someone is authentic or phony? It isn’t easy. It gets even tougher when we look at ourselves.

Wearing a mask.

(Photo: Tyler Olson, via Vivozoom)

I remember seeing at Masada a one-inch painted black line running across the walls of the ruins. This line revealed the division between the original ruins below and the modern reconstruction built directly on top of it.

Unfortunately, we have no black line running down our lives and behaviors to reveal the division between the authentic and the phony. The line often seems easy to see in the lives of others, but discerning the hypocrite in ourselves?

That’s a challenge, even when we’re looking for it.

Black lines at Masada

(Photo: Walls of Masada; notice the black line that separates the original from the reconstruction.)

Focused on the Wrong Things

When a federal court order removed the Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama, Christians went nuts with protests.

But as believers, we have to be careful about becoming more concerned about the removal of a monument of Scripture than we are about living what the stone represents. The presence of a monument no more indicates the godliness of a nation than do the Bibles in our laps.

Do we live what we say we believe? Where we don’t, we must face the truth of our personal hypocrisy. God cares far less about our monuments in stone than He cares about His Word in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).

God never intended for us to display His Word as a museum prop without also displaying His Word in our lives. When we get so focused on the wrong things, our misplaced priorities betray a hypocrisy.

Avoiding Personal Hypocrisy

We always have to come back to the simple truth that Jesus refused to commend any religious activity that was not an expression of character.

If our good and spiritual behavior fails to express our hearts, then our behavior is hypocrisy. This is why the Bible remains so adamant about the renewal of the mind (Psalm 119:9-11, Proverbs 23:7; Romans 12:1-3; Colossians 3:1-10).

Because only with a renewed mind comes a new and authentic life.

Question: What helps you avoid hypocrisy in your own life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands and Lessons of Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2008), p. 130-131. Used by permission. 

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