The Hazard of Hypocrisy
By Ivan Laurenciano
Not many of us consider how healthy it is for us individuals to tell the truth. It is because, between the truthful person and the liar, it is the latter that seems to reap immediate benefits. People who lie to gain advantages or avoid trouble, often face little to no consequences at all virtually. Hence, we find it easy to project favorable but inaccurate imageries of ourselves. For what could possibly go wrong? It seems that, aside from being found out, Christians who live double lives fear nothing about their hypocrisy.
What makes the sin of hypocrisy and lying in general enticing to us transgressors is that it is secretive in nature. Unlike all other moral violations that quickly become apparent, lying’s very objective is to become hidden. Yet nothing is concealed before the all-seeing Triune God. And as creatures who were made after His image, any form of deviation from His intended design is bound to distort us. The God from whom all reality is derived is Truth Himself (Deut. 32:4).
As one persists to hold on to hypocrisy, his grasp of reality becomes more and more loose. This fact should dispel from our minds the notion that hypocrisy is harmless. It is hazardous, especially within the bounds of the Christian religion, because it leads to an increasing state of confusion. Though his goal is to blur the optics of the watching world, it is himself that the hypocrite confuses the most.
The Sickness of a Double Life
Either in posing for a more pious version of ourselves, or in hiding our true messy condition, we are forced to wear spiritual masks; cover-ups. But the problem about these masks is they aren’t something we can just put on and take off so easily. They get easily embedded in our flesh. We come closer and closer to terms with them and begin to believe that these masks are who we actually are.
The longer a professing Christian wears his variety of masks, the deeper he will get lost in the forest of his disguises. A different mask when he’s at home, a different mask at church, at social media, at the workplace, when he’s all alone, and suddenly he can no longer point out which image of him is true and which are the ones he only wears for his convenience. This is how hypocrisy breeds a kind of confusion wherein the professor can see everything else clearly except himself.
The Cure to Confusion
There is indeed horror in losing oneself because of hypocrisy. This is why the Christian life is never meant to be lived in isolation and secrecy. Being alone and unchecked is as tempting to our flesh as a lone deer to a gray wolf. Absence of accountability nurtures our sinfulness, all the while being able to make a portrayal of religiosity. But confession cures our confusion. By being transparent to God and to the right people about our sins, we commit into the flames the masks that daze us. Our pretentious holiness and white-washed sins shall be burned into nothingness, for they are not real. Because before God no one can pretend to be holy and no sin can be covered up.
We must come to terms with what the Gospel says about our condition. We are sinful, but God is faithful and just to forgive in Christ. Confession liberates us to be indignant yet truthful about our messiness, instead of faking that they do not haunt us. This is the only way to deal with our transgressions. Anything means other than through confession and repentance leads to nowhere but heartache and headache because they force us to wear disguises to hide our true selves. Only in admitting our brokenness and partaking of Christ’s blood can we find our rightful identity before ourselves, before others, and before God.