Hypocrisy! Sometimes we wonder what does this word means. Finding faults with others or forcing others to do something when they are still doing the same fault is Hypocrisy. Or we can also define it as “Saying one thing and doing another”. This is a psychological phenomenon that God hates. Psychologist say that this is a human behaviour when their mental thinking disregard others and starts to think that “I am perfect and Others are imperfect”. This behaviour will not allow one to think the suffering or pain the others undergoing in their life. Hypocritical thinking will not help us to show the love of God to others rather it would pass judgements on others. Our God is a loving as well righteous one. So when we are made righteous by his Grace through Jesus christ then how can we pass on judgement to others. What we receive is what we should give. We received grace from God so we need to pass the same to others not judgement. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 this is what the basis of our christian faith. We are asked to forgive others as our trespasses are forgiven by God. So when God even prevents Judgement to Christians who are we to do that to our fellow brothers in Christ. Each one is responsible for their own acts only thing is if we find fault in them we can just advise them, that is all we can do. That too when we don't do the same thing we have the permission to advise them. “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” Matthew 7:5
Now let us study some of the life of Children of God who also underwent similar situations. These people of God are being Judged not by others but by their own hypocritical brothers and sisters.
1. Moses was criticized by her own sister Miriam for his Background
“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.” Number 12:1
Read: Numbers 12
Cushite is the generation of Cush who was the son of Ham and Ham was the son of Noah,whom Noah had cursed. So from bible its very clear, that Cushite is a sinful generation. But it was the will of God that Moses had to marry a women from this kind of generation. But Miriam and Aaron didnt see what God did through Moses. But rather they started to speak ill of Moses for his background. But see what God says about Moses “ ..He is faithful in all my house...With him I speak mouth to mouth...he beholds the form of the Lord..” What a mighty testimony of God about Moses. Dear brothers and Sisters dont worry for your background you might be illiterate, you might not have a good life partner, you might not have come from a good community, you might not be wealthy or healthy. Whatever you are.. You are not judged by others but by God. God knows you in person than anybody else in this world. His testimony is what will stand for ever.
2. David was criticized by his own brother for his Attitude
Eliab's(David's Oldest Brother) anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28
Read: 1 Samuel 17
As we all know in the previous chapter(1 Samuel 16) David was anointed by God. But see his brother Eliab’s comments on David, Eliab criticized David for not doing his work and also Eliab says that David has a bad attitude. Eliab thinks that David was eager to get things that are announced as gifts for the one who defeats Goliath. The Spirit of God was with David and by that vigour David spoke against the philistines and also David wanted to defeat Goliath.You can see in 1 Sam 17:26 David's vigor for the Living God. The issue is not the attitude of David but its a victory to be gained against Goliath. Also the attitude of David was to defeat Goliath not to marry Saul’s daughter which was announced as gift for the one who defeats Goliath. But see David's brother Eliab did not have this perspective about David. Eliab did not realize that David was the Anointed one of God. Eliab without thinking all these he just gave an ill statement about David. Sometimes when we are ready to undergo a warfare against the Goliaths in our life the same kinds of comments will be passed on to us. Our motives will appear to be wrong in front of our own Brothers (might be in bloodline or in Christ.). When we are led by the Spirit of God to do something we will be disturbed by people of this kind. So our motives and attitudes are all known to God and he is our reward. so we should not worry about criticism of this kind. See the end Goliath was defeated but if David’s attitude was wrong then God wouldn't have helped him.
3. Mary Magdalene and her fellow women was criticised by Apostles for their Character
Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. Luke 24:10-11
Read: Luke 24
We know what had happened in the early morning of Jesus’s Resurrection. The good news was first announced to the group of Women who were following Jesus sincerely. But in general the attitude of men is that women tell tales and stories to make others believe something. Many even take the evidence from bible in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to criticizes women who pronounce the word of God. But we need to carefully understand that Paul or the Apostles were not against the women but the same paul says “there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:28. Paul just advices the women to be simple and not to take authority on anything since Women are weaker and easy to be deceived by Satan. Paul didn't say that Women shouldn't minister for God. Because Paul knows very well that God himself does not have this attitude. So in christ we should not criticize women for their inbound character. Sometimes or many times God can speak through women. So please don't accuse your fellow women, it might be mother, sister or wife. God can even tell some amazing facts through them.
4.Accusation on our Spirituality
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16
Read: Luke 18:9-14
Sometimes we are accused by our fellow christians about some customs that we are not doing or some customs that we are doing. Christians often confuse between faith by works of law(Galatians 2) and works by faith(James 2). We arent justified by God by what we do ie prayers, alms, etc.. these are works of law but rather we are saved and justified by faith in Jesus Christ. But on the other hand, that if you have faith in Jesus Christ you will do what he did, yet not as custom but from spirit. So only James said “the body without the spirit is dead” Earlier there were some lawful acts like animal sacrifice, circumcision etc in order to tell that we had faith in God. Now in Christ Jesus we are free from those but once we received the faith in Christ we start to do works from spirit not from flesh. The formula is simple, earlier it was from hand to heart but now it is from heart to hand.
So we should always be careful about anything that we do for God.Is it from heart or is it from our hand either prayer or alms. At this instance we shall get reminded of the prayer of two men that Jesus taught us in Luke 18:9-14. The Jewish Priest were very proud of what they did for God but they didnt see their sin in them. But rather a real sinner when he humbles himself God justifies him and he is free from Sin and he starts to prepare himself for the Kingdom of God.
Being Christians, claiming that we are children of God we should not be hypocritical. God’s advice to Israelites was not to be hypocritic. But this is the very common mistake done by them. So before we close let us again remind what Jesus Christ said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37. Let us adapt this simple teaching which will give us a great change in our Spiritual life and will surely change our christian attitude if we are on the wrong side.