January 6th - Hypocrisy
"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." Matt 6:5-8 (NKJV)
I am sure of a couple of things: Firstly, most people do not want other people to label them as being a hypocrite. That brings me to the second thing I'm sure of: Most people are hypocritical at some level. A wise man once said, "We judge others by their actions and we judge ourselves by our intensions." Anyone suffering with burning ears?
How do we turn this carnal tendency around? It starts with an honest view of yourself. An accurate view of the inner man. In the movie, "The Hollow Man," (A movie that I would highly NOT recommend) Actor, Kevin Bacon makes a blood chilling statement as a man who happens to be invisible: "It's amazing what you can do... when you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror any more."
No doubt, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to fully understand ourselves; however, there is One who looks past your external facade, and "sees" the real you. Let me restate it clearly: "God is our mirror."
God makes my personal hypocrisy unnecessary. Out of everyone, He is the one that I would like to impress. Is He impressed? Probably not, but He loves me in spite of me. Now, this is amazing love, because, He knows me...really knows me. He understands me--fully comprehends what makes me tick--knows what I have need of before I ask. He is the mirror that reveals the real essence of who I am. How can I become self-actualized and begin to understand the complexity that is me? I need to continually meet with God in the secret place. Where is your secret place?
Jesus suggests that we find a place where we can be sequestered alone with God. In a Post-Modern world that would be a place where we can shut the door, turn off the cell phone and spend some uninterrupted time alone with our Creator. What happens in that quiet time alone with God is between you and God; however, you will find that God is indeed a transforming power that is unmatched by any other in the known universe. In His mirror you will see yourself as you are--with the knowledge that God is changing you into the likeness of His Son. It in that place that hypocrisy is overwhelmed by grace.
Author's Comments: As I've grown in Christ, I have become more aware of the "stuff" in me that I do not like. I have some tendencies that make me cringe. That said, acknowleging that which God can only fix has created more humility along with a bit of humiliation. Do I desire to remain on God's pottery wheel? In my moments of lucidity I would have to say an emphatic "yes!" RJD