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Here is something for me to assess.

  • Am I being pretentious?
  • Am I pretending and showing off what I have trying to make it more important than it really is?
  • Am I a happy with the simple life?

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.

Proverbs 13:7 (The Message Bible)

God’s goal: God wants us to obey. Today should be a day filled with loving God and loving our neighbors. We want others to see us as kind and loving. Some times we are not. Jesus died for us to restore us to that position with God. It is a gift and not something we earned.

Jesus warns us about pretension. Jesus is not a big fan of hypocrisy. He confronts it head on. This word from Jesus is particularly compelling. Yikes!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:27–28 (NASB)

The life Jesus calls us to live is a simple life focused on doing His will. It is to build up treasure in the Kingdom of God, not here. It is to be transparent not pretentious or hypocritical.

That is plenty to focus on, I think! It is enough for today.

Digging Deeper – What is hypocrisy?

If you want to dig deeper, here are some additional resources. In essence, “hypocrisy” refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask”—in other words, someone who pretends to be what he is not.The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin. There are two forms hypocrisy can take: that of professing belief in something and then acting in a manner contrary to that belief, and that of looking down on others when we ourselves are flawed.

New Strong’s Dictionary

ὑπόκρισις hupŏkrisis, hoop-ok´-ree-sis; from 5271; acting under a feigned part, i.e. (fig.) deceit (“hypocrisy”):— condemnation, dissimulation, hypocrisy.[1]

Pocket Dictionary of Ethics

The act of pretending to be what one is not. Hypocrisy originated as a technical term in Greek drama that meant playing a part by an actor who in actuality bears no relation to the role itself. In the Bible, Jesus condemned hypocrisy as the feigned façade of goodness that a person uses to cover his or her true self-interested motives (Mt 6:1–5; 7:3–5).[2]

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Hypocrisy,” “hypocrite” are frequent in the NT, chiefly in Christ’s discourses in the Gospels. The word hupokrisis (primarily, “an answer,” “response”) meant generally, in classical Gr, stage-playing, acting, the histrionic art; hence it came to mean acting a part in life, etc. We find hupokrisis in this sense in 2 Macc 6:25, RV “dissimulation,” and hupokrínomai, “to pretend,” “to feign,” etc. Ecclus 1:29; 32:15; 33:2, trd “hypocrite”; 2 Macc 5:25, “pretending peace,” RV “playing the man of peace”; 6:21, RV “to make as if.” Hupokritēs (lit. “an actor”) is the LXX for ḥānēph (Job 34:30; 36:13), equivalent to bad, wicked, godless, which is perhaps included in some of Our Lord’s uses of the words, e.g. Mt 23:27 f, “full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (cf vs 29 f; 24:51); but, in general, the meaning is acting a part, false, deceptive and deceived, formally and outwardly religious and good, but inwardly insincere and unrighteous; the hypocrite may come to deceive himself as well as others, but “the hypocrite’s hope shall perish” (Job 8:13 AV). On no class did Our Lord pronounce such severe condemnation as on the hypocrites of His day.[3]

Dictionary of Bible Themes:

An outward pretence masking an inner reality. Scripture condemns hypocrisy, especially in matters of faith. Believers should express their commitment to God in their words and their deeds, as well as in their inner motivation.[4]

Christian Quotations

They do but flatter with their lips, and dissemble in their double heart. Psalm 12:2 BCP

So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward … And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward … And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. Matthew 6:2, 5, 16 NRSV

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5 NIV

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” Matthew 15:7–9 NIV

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:25–28 ESV

… treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:4–5 ESV

He who beats his heart, but does not mend his ways, does not remove his sins but hardens them. St Augustine of Hippo

An apple, if it be rotten at the core, though it have a fair and shining outside, yet rottenness will not stay long, but will taint the outside also … hypocrisy will discover itself in the end. John Bond

It is no fault of Christianity if a hypocrite falls into sin. St Jerome

Solemn prayers, rapturous devotions, are but repeated hypocrisies unless the heart and mind be conformable to them. William Law

God is not deceived by externals. Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. Blaise Pascal

Hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue. François de la Rochefoucauld

Hypocrites in the church? Yes, and in the lodge, and at home. Don’t hunt through the church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the glass. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less. William Ashley (Billy) Sunday

I cannot believe that a man is on the road to heaven when he is habitually performing the kind of deeds that would logically indicate that he ought to be on his way to hell. Aiden Wilson (A.W.) Tozer[5]

[1] Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Grenz, S. J., & Smith, J. T. (2003). In Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (p. 56). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[3] Walker, W. L. (1915). Hypocrisy, Hypocrite. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 1445). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

[4] Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

[5] Manser, M. (Ed.). (2016). Christian Quotations. Martin Manser.