Posts Tagged 'hypocrisy'

Judging Others

JESUS SPEAKING 

     “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye.” (Matthew 7: 1-3.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Of all the sins we can possibly commit, hypocrisy is one of the most offensive. Jesus embraced repenting murderers, thieves, and prostitutes; yet He openly loathed unrepentant religious hypocrites.  Hypocrisy occurs when someone judges or evaluates another person based upon standards they themselves are incapable of achieving.  Practicing hypocrisy is extremely dangerous because God judges His followers according to the same principles they use to judge others.  If we outwardly condemn thievery, yet secretly steal, we are condemning ourselves.  Jesus warned His disciples that such unrighteous judgments would serve only to separate them from God.  As a result, before we judge anyone, we must make certain that we have been victorious over the sins that have caused others to fall.

     Surprisingly, the first attempted extermination of the Jewish people did not occur within the boundaries of 20th century Nazi Germany.  Adolf Hitler wasn’t the first man to attempt such a hideous undertaking.  In fact, approximately 2400 years earlier a man named Haman made an effort to execute every Jew living within the Persian Empire.  He hated the Hebrews and believed they were troublemakers who deserved to die.  Haman was a high ranking official in the court of Artaxerxes the 2nd, King of Persia.  Somehow he convinced the King to eradicate the Jews; which would have included Haman’s mortal Hebrew enemy, Mordecai (another high ranking official who showed disdain for Haman.)  Mordecai had graciously adopted his orphan cousin Esther, who grew into one of the most beautiful women in all of Persia; the king became enamored with Esther and married her, not knowing that she was a Jew.  As the day of the extermination approached, Haman joyfully erected a scaffold fifty feet high near his home, from which he planned to hang Mordecai.  However, just before the mass murder was about to be carried out, Esther came forward and revealed to the king that she was in fact a Jew.  She begged him to cancel the genocidal plot.  The king compassionately agreed; creating a decree that permitted the Jews to legally defend themselves; thereby ending the sinister conspiracy. The king was also made aware of Haman’s treachery.  In a cruel twist of fate, the king ordered Haman to be hung from the very same gallows he himself had constructed to murder Mordecai.  The judgment he had so eagerly reserved for another person had been visited upon him and his entire household. 

     Like Haman, many today build scaffolds from which to hang others.  Yet such people are often hypocrites who incur the wrath of God; they condemn themselves by the very judgments they use to condemn others.  This is why we must examine ourselves daily and ask God to search our hearts and minds. If we find that the sins of others produces anger and resentment, then we must ask the question, “Am I guilty of any similar sins?”  If the answer is yes, then we need to change. We must abandon hypocrisy and embrace a right relationship with God.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we recognize that we are unworthy servants; and that we are sinners who do not deserve Your forgiveness; yet we thank You that we have received it.  Search our hearts; if You find hypocrisy, please reveal it to us; and correct us if we have been judging others unjustly.  Take away our sinful resentments, that we may more effectively reach those who are lost. Fill our hearts with gratitude, sincerity, and humility.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Religious Hypocrisy

JESUS SPEAKING

       Then he said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive great condemnation” (Mark 12: 38-40.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

       Jesus warned his children to be wary of the Pharisees who had been abusing their positions of religious authority to amass large quantities of wealth. Outwardly they appeared Godly; they wore the robes of holy men; they made long prayers in public for all to see; yet privately they would seize every opportunity to abuse those who were helpless. Jesus said that they “devour(ed) widow’s houses.” Widows were easily exploited. As a mandatory condition for marriage, a man had to build a house for his bride. When the husband passed away, the wife would inherit the home. With no source of income, widows would often be forced to sell their homes if they wished to survive. Many of the religious Pharisees who outwardly claimed to be Godly would exploit the widow’s circumstances; paying far less for the property than it was actually worth. Many, including these widows were victimized because they trusted in the outward appearance of Godliness. Jesus warned that such vile individuals would one day be judged for their misdeeds.
       Many years ago, I was working as a sales representative for a tile company. I had recently become a Christian, and the other employees were aware of my conversion. Suddenly, in walked a man who was the Pastor of a world-famous church located just up the street. He and his wife made a small purchase; he then pulled around to the back to pick it up. As I headed to the loading dock with the sales slip, one of my co-workers (who was not a Christian) contemptuously remarked, “Isn’t that your pastor friend’s car; the one that costs over a hundred thousand dollars?” Sure enough; there it sat, washed and waxed; in all its splendor. I felt contempt, anger, and sadness in my heart; knowing that he had likely been using God’s name for his own personal profit. [Concerning judgment, the words of Christ were eventually realized; a few years later, this man and his family lost everything. His mega church, with all its expensive buildings, statues, and complexes went bankrupt; the church dissolved in a few short months, and the entire establishment was sold to another institution.]
       In his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ staunchly warned his followers to avoid hypocrites; especially religious hypocrites who would seek to exploit others and to use God’s name for personal profit. As Christians we are not to be deceived by the superficial appearance of Godliness. Rather, we must test people, to see if what they do is truly of God. If what a pastor, a teacher, or a preacher says on stage is not synonymous with who they are in private, then it is likely that they might be a Pharisee, who can’t be trusted [Warning: No one is perfect.]
       “Lord Heavenly Father, please reveal to us any areas in our lives where we are being hypocritical; and help us to change. May we always accurately represent You in every area of our lives. May we be loving, giving, and caring, in public and in private. Help us to recognize false teachers and religious hypocrites, that we may guide others away from them and toward You. We love You Father, and we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and we pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you.

Religious Hypocrites

JESUS SPEAKING

            Then he said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.  These will receive great condemnation” (Mark 12: 38-40.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            Jesus warned his children to be wary of the Pharisees who were abusing their positions of religious authority in order to amass large quantities of wealth.  Outwardly they appeared Godly; they wore the robes of holy men and made long prayers in public for all to see; yet privately they would seize every opportunity to abuse those who were helpless.  Jesus said that they “devour(ed) widow’s houses.”  In the ancient world, widows were very easily exploited.  As a mandatory condition for marriage, a man had to build a house for his bride. If the husband passed away, then the wife would inherit the home.  With no enduring source of income, widows were often forced to sell their homes in order to survive.  A number of the religious Pharisees who claimed to be Godly would therefore exploit the widow’s circumstances; paying far less for the property than it was actually worth.  Many, including these widows were being victimized because they trusted in the outward appearance of Godliness.  Jesus clearly spoke of a day when such vile individuals would be judged for their misdeeds.

            Many years ago, I worked as a sales representative for a tile company.  Having recently become a Christian, most of the other employees were aware of my conversion.  One day, the Pastor of a world famous church located just up the street walked through the front door.  After he and his wife had made a small purchase, they pulled around to the back to pick it up.  As I headed to the loading dock with the sales slip, one of my co-workers (who was not a Christian) contemptuously remarked, “Isn’t that your pastor friend’s car; the one that costs over a hundred thousand dollars?”  Sure enough; there it sat, washed and waxed; in all of its splendor.  My heart was filled with anger and sadness; knowing that he had likely been using God’s name for personal profit. Concerning judgment, the words of Christ were eventually realized, when a few years later, this man and his family lost everything.  His mega church, with all of its expensive buildings, statues, and complexes went bankrupt. In a few short months the church dissolved and the entire establishment was sold to another institution.

            In his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ staunchly warned his followers to avoid hypocrites; especially religious hypocrites who would seek to exploit others and to use God’s name for personal profit.  As Christians we are not to be deceived by the superficial appearance of Godliness.  Rather, we must test everyone to see if what they do is truly of God.  If what a pastor, a teacher, or a preacher says on stage is not synonymous with who they are in private, then perhaps they cannot be trusted.  

            “Lord Heavenly Father, please reveal to us the areas in our lives where we are being hypocritical; and help us to change.  May we always accurately represent You in every area of our lives.  May we be loving, giving, and caring; in public and in private.  Help us to recognize false teachers and religious hypocrites, that we may guide others away from them and toward You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank you; and we ask and we pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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