This is a great post...I really helps me to realize how I can be hypocritical and how sometimes I can let the focus shift from God to glorifying myself.Jesus spent more time discussing hypocrisy than any other sin. He said, "There he will share the fate of the hypocrites."
You see, hypocrisy is a very special sin. It is the ultimate in rebellion. The hypocrite has built his own artificial wall of protection around himself. "Ah, nothing will happen to me! I've been saved! My salvation is complete! I have all I need!" Knowing deep down he will be condemned, he is fastidious in keeping himself from harboring these deep, dark thoughts. He remains vigilant, busy, busy as a bee. He "helps others", he makes himself a martyr. He secretly loves the world's delights but he tells himself, "No! I am worthy! I am honest! I am true! I am saved!" He then goes out and "helps people". He prays! And he worships in the fellowship of others! "Hey, can't y'all see me? I'm pure and holy! I worship God! I pray with you! How ya doin', God? Nice seein' ya here!"
And yet he is a stranger to God. The LORD does not know him. All the hypocrite knows is, he belongs to God, this stranger that HE does not know either. The hypocrite alone has built his own world! His own utopia! His own bubble! Unconcerned that he may hurt others in the way, he simply lives. He craves! He is jealous! Deep inside, he is a raging lion! But he is so good at putting on a smiley face in front of everyone, he even deceives HIMSELF, and does not consider for the moment that his world is one created by his own hands. Uncontent to live in God's world, he rejects it and forms his own creation... an idol made by his own hands! Every time he brushes his teeth or combs his hair, the guy on the other side of the mirror is smiling back.
See, people? I smile! I smile all the time! Can't you see my teeth?
Ah, but those with insight NEVER look at the teeth! They look at the eyes!
And you can tell the hypocrite in plain sight. He's the one with a reddish look, masking that he is a slave of sin. He's the one who smiles with his teeth, but not with his eyes.
He does not even know what he looks like, because he can't bear to look at a picture of himself. He may glimpse, but that is good enough.
Then someone walks into the life of the hypocrite, someone who is NOT a hypocrite! What does this hypocrite do? He trembles! He shakes! Something is not right with the world! He HATES with a passion this non-hypocrite! And the hypocrite will work with all his might to detroy this non-hypocrite! He will not rest until he does him in, in some form or another. The hypocrite makes himself an enemy of The LORD, by going after the true believers he happens to find. They are the enemy!
When all the while, the hypocrite has made himself his own worst enemy! For while he was busy building his artificial bubble, he forgot--
forgot to check his mirror while he was building it. Forgot to look into his eyes, into his soul, to understand just WHY he spent so much time building this bubble! And next thing you know, he dies! His bubble gone, he goes before the Maker, fully expecting to find his Heavenly Home!
When all at once, the Savior shows up to judge him. "I never knew you!" He cries, and then at that moment...
The Savior holds up...
The hypocrite screams in agony...
an agony that is forever silenced!
How do I know all this?
Easy. I pictured a relative-by-marriage of mine the entire time. Someone whose soul I have peered into myself -- and found it lacking.
Scary stuff. Pay attention, people, and make sure you do not share the fate of the hypocrites!
It is something I definitely need to work on...Aren't we all sinners though?? Doesn't EVERYONE do this to a certain degree?
I'm not trying to justify it, I just don't think you can lump all the people Jesus is condemning into the category of people who have EVER been hypocritical at one time or another.