Do you realize how many decisions we face daily? Ever thought about what guides our decision-making? Once again, I’m wanting us to take a deep look into the motive of our heart.
Luke 12:1-6 (ESV) …“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. …(addresses behavior in public and private) … “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.
Jesus is telling his disciples to be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees.
- “Leaven” in Hebrew means “evil ways.” It symbolizes corruption.
- Whenever I see “Pharisees” in Scripture, I just plug into my mind the framework of pride, pursuit of image and power, and hypocrisy.
Jesus is saying to his disciples to be careful. The heart and pursuit of the Pharisees involved wanting to impress – to be great in the eyes of others. Jesus warns that this is completely opposite of what should be the pursuit of a true follower of Christ. The Pharisees had it alllll wrong.
But, so often, so do we! We are blind to our pride and may not even realize the daily decisions we make are motivated by our desire to impress, be noticed, gain respect, please man, or attain a certain image.
The desire to impress leads to a double life which is hypocrisy.
Ponder on that bold statement…and then do a quick scan of various situations you encounter. Ask yourself WHY you chose this over that. Examine the motive behind the action. This will rock your world. Better yet, spend some time being still before our Almighty Father, asking the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal areas where you are different at home with those closest to you than you are in public.
Do we unknowingly have different behaviors in public and private, visible and unseen? Consider these scenarios that show hypocrisy:
- At home we are selfish, have boundaries, are demanding of our way, yet treat guests in our home with bright smiles and serving hearts. Publicly we joyfully serve; privately we selfishly demand.
- We loudly sing praise to God during the worship at church; at home we’ve wounded with our words, unaware of a pattern of scars left. Publicly we appear holy, privately we are not governed by the prompting of the Holy Spirit on our hearts.
- We nod our heads and say AMEN during the sermon, yet at home no evidence of a heart change and attention to apologies/restoration take place. Publicly we impress. Privately we have no fruit.
- We offer key points in Bible discussion to appear well-studied; at home we are not in the Word. Publicly we are godly, privately we are busy.
- We push our kids to be the very best-while unknowingly doing harm as the message they receive is it’s never good enough, not even realizing we’re being driven by a desire to impress -to have our kids be noticed and praised by their peers and even our own peers. Publicly our child looks like the all-star, while privately they are beaten down.
- Publicly we pray for others, yet privately our family doesn’t experience a tender heart of sharing burdens and praying together.
- Publicly, we pray over our meal. We leave tracts on the table. Impressive, isn’t it. But, the waitress is not impressed. She overheard the conversation while serving. The way displeasure in the food was communicated to her was arrogant, degrading, demanding, and disrespectful. The proud attitude only communicated hypocrisy- of which she’d like no part.
- We give money if our names are revealed, but situations that give no credit are bypassed.
- We make decisions about job and career based on what man would think of our title, position, or income rather than seeking God for his guidance.
- We take part in church divisions because of pride and knowledge that is puffed up, rather than seeking God for our part in unity, grace, humility.
- We use our vast knowledge of scripture to answer man wisely, yet at home scripture is taught but not lived out.
- We carefully inspect our kids before leaving the house, making sure they “look” to impress.We even have particular people we think of that we want to notice. We say we focus on the heart, but unseen is the investment into a lifelong pursuit of image and recognition on the external.
- We entertain with delight and as soon as they depart, we complain to our family about the experience. We are full of pride, considering ourselves better than another. Our heart is not focused on giving it is on receiving.
So, how do we begin to address the double life we unintentionally have created?
The solution for addressing our hypocrisy is to fear God, not man, and put Him first.
- When we fear God, we are not focused on our image and what man thinks.
- We’re mindful of our walk matching our talk.
- We’ll desire our hearts to be clean before Him and restored continually within our home.
- We’ll let go of pursuing image of perfection, recognizing God cares about the heart.
- We’ll be concerned with unity, operating in grace and love rather than winning arguments and being heard.
- We’ll recognize whose opinions we value and work to weed this out by replacing with a focus on honoring God.
- We’ll be prepared to stand for God in the midst of opposition, not fearing man, but trusting God-even if it’s to church leaders or powerful people.
- We will recognize our desire for power or respect, and instead choose humility.
- We’ll be obedient to His calling for our life, not desiring man’s approval.
- We’ll make a priority to be still and ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal signs of “leavenness,”
- We’ll be about humility not pride.
- We’ll consider others better than ourselves.
- We’ll let go of trying to impress, and will experience the beautiful freedom of being real while we journey through life dependent on God.
Tomorrow, I’m addressing one of the greatest obstacles to spiritual growth
Rhonda dearone,beteachable.AsktheHStorevealareasofhypocrisy ellis