God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love . . . made us alive together with Christ. —Ephesians 2:4-5
Ray Stedman told about a young man who had stopped attending the church Ray was pastoring. The young man said that when he was at work he would sometimes lose his temper and treat co-workers poorly. Then, when Sunday rolled around, he didn’t want to go to church because he felt like a hypocrite.
Stedman told his young friend, “A hypocrite is someone who acts like something he isn’t. When you come to church, you are acting like a Christian. You are not a hypocrite at church.” Suddenly, the young man realized where he was being a hypocrite. He recognized that the answer was not in avoiding church but in changing the way he was at work.
The term hypocrite is from a Greek word that means “play-actor.” It means we pretend to be something we aren’t. Sometimes we forget our true identity as believers in Jesus. We forget that we are accountable to God. When we do that, we live the way we “once walked” (Eph. 2:2) and thus are hypocrites.
Let’s not let our old ways make us act like someone we’re not. Instead, through God’s grace, let’s live in a way that shows we are “alive together with Christ” (v.5). That’s a sure cure for hypocrisy.
by Dave Branon