Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you... (Matthew 6:4)
Yesterday we talked about the first step to curing hypocrisy. Today, I want us to look at two other steps we can take to break down the barrier of hypocrisy that is keeping so many from the faith.
First, we must be humble in our public life. Pharisees had a reputation of not just being great teachers or prophets or practitioners, but great prayers and they knew how to put on a show. They would stretch out their hands with their palms upward, with their head bowed, and they would give the speech of a lifetime, as loud as they could, standing on the most crowded street corner, so people could hear them, and see them, and brag on how close they must be to God.
I want to confess something. Nothing irritates me more than people who pray long prayers in public, because I know what they are doing most of the time. They are catching up on their prayer life at our expense. It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Let your public prayers be brief. Let your private prayers be as long as you want.” This advice is what we should all take to heart if we want to be humble in our public life.
Finally, we must be honorable with our personal life. We want to do everything we can to be a stepping-stone to Jesus, not a stumbling block. There is something we must remember that Jesus repeats three times in this passage. He says it in verse 4, verse 6, and verse 18. Here is the firewall that will guard against hypocrisy. “Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you...” (Matthew 6:4, 6,18).
The single most important part of your life is the part that God sees when no one else is looking. I love the way someone put it, “The theology that matters is not the theology we profess, but the theology we practice.”
The only honor we should be seeking is God’s honor. The only glory we should be seeking is God’s glory. The only praise we should ever worry about is God’s praise. In order to achieve that you can’t be a phony. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make up your mind on what you truly believe, not just what you say you believe and then behave what you believe. Be what you need to be in private, then you will be who you need to be in public.
Dear Lord, I want nothing more than to be humble and honorable not only in your sight, but in the sight of those who are curious about you. Please help me to grow in humility and to live with the goal of honoring you in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.