Three Men Rebel Against Hypocrisy
Three men rebel against hypocrisy, but they vary greatly in their reactions.
The first man turns to total moral abandonment. He throws off all restraint as he gives himself to the fulfillment of every fleshly desire. "Self" becomes his god. He hardens himself to the tears of his family as he goes out to do what he wants to do. His "justification" for his shameful conduct: "At least I'm not a hypocrite!"
The second man goes to the opposite extreme. He is fed up with the weakness and hypocrisy that he sees in all the churches, and he is not going to be like such people. He will become a Christian and from the beginning "he's going to live with it." He will be an example of what a Christian really ought to be. To him, the cure for hypocrisy is perfection.
The third man wants to avoid hypocrisy in his life, but at the same time, he has a deep sense of his own imperfection. So he takes on no air in infallibility, but sets out to be genuine. His genuineness soon becomes apparent to others. He does not claim perfection, but he strives for perfection. As he worships God, he does not claim to be perfect as a worshipper, but when the singing begins he gives his heart to what he's doing; when the prayer is led, he listens and makes the prayer his prayer; during the supper he meditates on the suffering of the Lord; and throughout the sermon he participates in a study of God's word; if his mind wanders, he brings it back; and when the worship period ends, he asks God to forgive him for his failure and to accept his worship in spite of his imperfection. When he goes to his job, he does not claim perfection among his fellow workers, but they know that he will try to give eight hours of work for eight hours of pay; that he is trustworthy; that he is pure in speech and life; and that if he is ever overcome by pressure around him to sin, he will humbly seek the forgiveness of those who have been wronged.
He is the same in the home. His family respects him because he is genuine and does not claim strength and goodness beyond reality. His family sees his faults, but his one redeeming quality that enables him to maintain their respect is his ability to say, "I'm sorry." In every area of his life, he walks humbly before his God and his fellow man.
Our third man has found the true cure for hypocrisy. The first man, if he does not repent, will someday be a miserable wretch, his life completely torn and shattered. The second man is headed for disillusionment. His goals are unreal; his outlook is totally wrong. But the man who "walks humbly with his God" and is wholly free from guile and is a blessed man indeed. His life and his attitude with God is what God wants it to be and he lives in hope of heaven.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).