Tag Archives: Hypocrisy

A Thought on Truth and Hypocrisy

Sometimes, we as Christians, and just people in general, have a hard time accepting the truth.  We can see it, even know it, and yet still refuse to live by and accept it.  We live in a world that likes to tell us that we can live according to our own truth, that we can make it up as we go along, or that we can just pick out the parts of it we like, and leave the rest of it.  All of these things are ways of rationalizing our behavior.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word rationalize as:To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for (one’s behavior).  That’s a fancy, intellectual way of saying, that we just plain flat-out lie to ourselves.  Some people become so good at it, they don’t even recognize that they’re doing it.  Imagine living in a whole world full of people who are all telling themselves lies so that they can feel self-satisfied with their behavior…

Christians aren’t above this kind of behavior either, sad to say, and it’s because they’re not, that we have had to live with the world’s accusation that the church, the body of Christ, is filled with hypocrisy, and that many of us are hypocrites.  In the ancient Greek theater, a hypocrite was one who wore a mask while playing a part on a stage in which he would imitate the walk, talk, and behavior typical of a character being played.  It’s where we get the modern term “actor” from.  In essence, he would be a religious fraud.  I won’t deny that there are hypocrites in the church, but then there are hypocrites in the world, too.

Truth and hypocrisy go about as well together as peanut butter and sauerkraut, a striped blouse and polka-dot skirt, white wine at a tailgate party…. you know what I mean.  Yet, so many people, both in and out of church, in the world, mix and match, and combine, all sorts of things, and come up with some of the most  comical, nonsensical,  and inane conclusions about their own lives and the lives of others, and the world we live in that well… just defy understanding.  Not only that, but it’s in the combining, the mixing and matching, of things that don’t go together that have given birth to some of the most perverted ideas and philosophies we see in the world around us.

Some people might roll their eyes, when I say that there’s such a thing as “spiritual blindness,” but I know there is.  I know this as well as I know that there is darkness and light, right and wrong, good and bad.  I know that some things can’t exist together side by side, and that there are some things you can’t bring together because by their very natures they are in direct opposition to each other.  The fact that people can believe that they can involve themselves with the filth of this world, and yet be a part of God’s Kingdom just goes to show that many people are indeed “spiritually blind.”

Hypocrisy is a form of “spiritual blindness” in that it allows people to look at other people through the eyes of  condemnation and judgment, often to the point of damnation, with no thought or ability to look at oneself, and is a complete denial of the truth of God’s Word which is the only real truth.  The fact is that we must make a choice between living for truth or living for ourselves.

Truth, real truth, destroys hypocrisy….



Spiritual Liars by A. W. Pink

I came across this in my reading and knew I had to share it.

Spiritual Liars
Arthur Pink, 1937

“Remove from me the way of lying” (Psa_119:29). How we should be humbled by such a prayer as this, for it is evidently an appropriate one for all the Lord’s people. The fact that it is not only recorded in Holy Writ—but here in the 119th Psalm, rather than in the prayer of a particular individual on some special occasion, plainly intimates this.

There is nothing in all the Old Testament of wider latitude and of more general application, than the various petitions found in this Psalm—each of them is pertinent to the experiences and exigencies of all the saints, and the one now before us is certainly no exception, no matter how hesitant we may be to acknowledge the truth of it. Reader and writer alike are spiritual liars, guilty of dissembling before both man and God.

There are different kinds of lies; some are spoken—others are acted; some are intentional—others involuntary. We often pretend to be what we are not, and are indictable with much formality. We are guilty of making promises to God which we break; of uttering penitential confessions while our hearts are hard and unaffected; of asking for spiritual blessings for which we have no felt need; or returning thanks for mercies which have made no impression upon us. All of this is a species of abominable dissimulation.

When we are convicted and made conscience of the same we cry, “Remove from me the way of lying!” Below is a message recently sent to two dear souls who enjoy little assurance; may it please the Lord to make the same a blessing unto others of His distressed family.

“Remove from me the way of lying.” How well suited is this petition to the quickened child of God, who is often made painfully conscious of how much insincerity and hypocrisy is mixed up with his worship, supplications, repentance, and thanksgivings! When an honest heart examines his religious life, reviews his prayers, and ponders his character and conduct, he perceives how little reality and how much dissimulation characterizes all his spiritual exercises, until at times it seems that he himself and all pertaining to his solemn profession is only a sham. If it were not so it would be quite useless for him to pray.

“Remove from me the way of lying.” Observe how strongly this is expressed—not simply “deliver me from lying,” but “the way of lying”—a regular course, a confirmed habit.

Now the very fact that we find this petition so well-suited to our case, supplies clear evidence that we must be among those who are enabled to see themselves in God’s light, for no Satan-blinded and sin-deceived soul feels and knows himself to be a spiritual liar.

Moreover, the petitions which the Spirit of Truth has so graciously recorded in this 119th Psalm are most obviously neither designed for nor suited, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Should not this very consideration at least revive the spark of assurance which so often waxes dim in your breasts? Furthermore, the very fact that you can, from the depths of your soul, feelingly pray, “Remove from me the way of lying” is clear proof that you are not among those who love darkness rather than light. You want to be genuine with God, to be delivered from all insincerity, and this evidences an honest root amid the rank weeds and thistles of deception and formality.

Perhaps you answer, I follow you thus far—but alas, I have not the ear of God. Countless times have I confessed to Him my lack of sincerity, and begged Him, (in substance at least, if not in those identical words) to “Remove from me the way of lying”; but so far from my prayer being answered, I am conscious of increasing unreality in my devotions.

Thank God that you are so conscious, dear brother and sister—if God had given you up “to a reprobate mind” (as He had the sovereign right to do, and as He has countless millions of our fellow creatures), then you would be quite unconscious of “the deceitfulness of sin,” quite indifferent to the unreality of your devotions. I ask you, frankly, Is it not so? Yet, perhaps, that hardly removes your difficulty.

But this does, “Remove from me the way of lying,” like many another prayer, awaits its answer until the life to come! We were born in “the way of lying”—it is the very sphere in which “the flesh” lives, moves and has its being; the way of lying ends only when the flesh itself is removed. Until then, the quickened soul is burdened, exercised, shocked, plagued, grieved by it—by the unreality and formality of his devotions—and that very grief finds expression in this prayer which is so well suited to some exercises of soul.

Then step out of your mental gloom for a moment, into the warm sunshine of the clear implications of this verse, and thank God for having placed in your hands, yes, and put into your mouths—such a prayer as this, which, because it is so well suited to your case, denotes that you are entitled to make use of the same; which, in turn, proves you belong to that quickened company who are painfully aware of the plague of their own hearts.


From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     How long has it been since you’ve examined your life, and looked at your motivations for doing the things you do?  Can you be honest with yourself?  Can you be honest with God?  Now might be a good time to reflect on your life, and to give this devotion by Spurgeon some thought.

“Can the rush grow up without mire?”


The rush is spongy and hollow, and even so is a hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in him. It is shaken to and fro in every wind just as formalists yield to every influence; for this reason the rush is not broken by the tempest, neither are hypocrites troubled with persecution. I would not willingly be a deceiver or be deceived; perhaps the text for this day may help me to try myself whether I be a hypocrite or no. The rush by nature lives in water, and owes its very existence to the mire and moisture wherein it has taken root; let the mire become dry, and the rush withers very quickly. Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances, a present abundance of water makes it flourish, and a drought destroys it at once. Is this my case? Do I only serve God when I am in good company, or when religion is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when temporal comforts are received from his hands? If so I am a base hypocrite, and like the withering rush, I shall perish when death deprives me of outward joys. But can I honestly assert that when bodily comforts have been few, and my surroundings have been rather adverse to grace than at all helpful to it, I have still held fast my integrity? then have I hope that there is genuine vital godliness in me. The rush cannot grow without mire, but plants of the Lord’s right hand planting can and do flourish even in the year of drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances decay. He who follows Christ for his bag is a Judas; they who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but they who attend him out of love to himself are his own beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in thee, and not in the mire of this world’s favour or gain.

A Thought on Faith, My Own

     I’m going to do something I don’t  normally do which is wing-it, meaning that  I didn’t preplan what this post was going to be about.  It’s kind of scary for me because I’m a deliberate sort of person.  I tend to be very intentional about what I do, thinking things through, and trying to see the big picture, and what the possible consequences are of what I do.  I do this because I dislike hurting people.  If you knew anything about my past life you’d know how odd it seems to me as I write this because there was a time when caring about how other people felt, or being intentional in the way I did things wasn’t what I was about.  I guess that’s the advantage of having lived almost fifty years.  You can look back and actually see how you’ve changed.
     Sometimes, I think I have a very good view of myself, that I know who I am, and what I am, and that I’m very comfortable in my own skin.  Usually those are the times when I’m deceiving myself, and not wanting to acknowledge that I’m nowhere close to being the person I like to think that I am.  In truth, I think most people live with the illusion that they’re in control of their own lives, that they know who they are, when in reality they’re not sure of themselves or anything else.  I believe that most people, I being one, tend to be two people.  the one they are and the one they’d like to be and we tend to go back and forth between the two.
     I’d love to tell you that after having lived 49 years that I’ve got it all figured out, but it seems the longer I live the more I realize that I have way more questions than I have answers to.  I’ve often thought it’s not the answers we come up with that show who we are in our hearts, but rather the questions we ask.  For example, why do I worry about things when I know after having lived so long that things will work out?  Why do I worry about whether I’m going to have money when I need it when I always have what I need when I need it?  Why, why, why, it’s always those kinds of questions that nag at me; that make me stay awake long into the early morning hours rather than sleeping.
     In a recent post, I wrote am I a man of truth, a man of love, and I wrote I’m as much of those things as I’m able to know and comprehend them.  I could have asked another question, and a more important one.  Am I a man of faith?  As I sit here pondering this, I’m inclined to say yes.  I want to say yes; I need to say yes; I have to say yes.  Perhaps that doesn’t make sense to you, and if it doesn’t I’m not sure that I can explain it to you.  Maybe a better question would be am I man of great faith?  The best answer I can give you is sometimes I am; other times I’m not.  There are days when my faith is strong, so strong that nothing can deter, sway or move me, and then there are the days when I can’t seem to find a positive response to anything.
     Chronic pain can wear on you.  It’s a fact.  There are times when I’ve just wanted to lie down and die, when I’ve even thought about killing myself.  Sometimes I get so tired, so cranky, that I just want to hide from the world, and even my own family, and not let them see me.  I get discouraged, depressed, angry, all those emotions that I’m not supposed to have, that in the admitting of them I show my hypocrisy, and lack of faith.  It’s bad enough to live with physical pain, but add to that the guilt, and there are two kinds of that, the kind I lay on myself for not being strong, courageous, immovable, for not living and showing the kind of faith I think I should and want to have.  Then the guilt laid on me by others who sneer at me when I mention the word (faith), and throw scripture at me as if it’s a magic pill that will remove all doubt.
     Those of you who have been reading me awhile know that I’m a christian, and perhaps I’ve just given witness to those who think that all christians are hypocrites the right to say “See.  I told you.”  If I’ve given you that then I’m sorry.  I’m a christian.  Whether strong or weak I know that I am.  I know that God exists, that He loves me, that His son Jesus died for me, and that I am His.  I won’t deny that there are many hypocrites in, and out of, christianity, but for many, including me, the hypocrisy lies not in whom I believe in and put what faith I have, what trust I’m able to muster, in Him, but in thinking and, allowing others to think, that I’m able to do anything through my own efforts and strength. 
     Only God knows how much I want to have faith, how much I want to be all that He wants me to be, how sorry I am for failing Him and not upholding Him, and standing firm in my commitment to Him.  Only He can judge my faith, not me, not you, for only He can do so with perfect judgement, and He will judge my faith accurately, and I know He will because He gave it to me.