Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Am a Hypocrite

The words of Jesus should challenge our very core. No matter how much we may know Jesus or how much we may know the Bible, life is a constant struggle to do what we want to do. This is true throughout each year of our lives, but is often made evident around mid-January as resolutions made for the new year begin to be broken.

The reality is when we say one thing and do another we are hypocrites. But saying something does not need to be audible. In Matthew 5.8, Jesus mentioned the pure in heart. So, if we perceive we should do something (even in our heart),  and do not do it, then by definition we are hypocrites. Therefore, I am a hypocrite. However, thankfully, Jesus’ words were that the pure in heart will see God, not the pure in hands.

Psalm 24.3-4 specifically states that only those with clean hands and a pure heart will see God. The problem in Jesus day was that the religious leaders (particularly the Pharisees) were focused on what people did (clean hands), without affecting the heart. Jesus knew these verses well and used them to help people see that the heart is more important. Later James would write that cleansing one’s hands is important as is purifying the heart because the people were “double-minded.” This means not only did they say one thing (the first) and do another (the second), they likely said the second thing and did the first as well.

Nothing we can do can earn God’s favor. It is our heart that He wants and which allows us to be before Him. In this life, we will always fail to do everything we believe. That makes us hypocrites to the world, but Jesus did everything His heart knew to be true. That is, His hands and His heart were clean and pure throughout His life. Thus, by placing our trust in Him, our hearts can be pure and our hands can be cleaned.

So yes, I am a hypocrite. But my belief in the only one who was not/is what matters. I must continue to better align my hands with my heart, but although the world may always see the crack that exists between the two, God only see the cross.