When speaking of hypocrisy, Jesus mainly spoke to the need for a sincere inward disposition: Metaphorically, Jesus made it very clear to the Pharisees that they cleaned the outside of the cup (outward behavior) but left the inside (inward sincerity) of the cup dirty and unwashed. The Holy Spirit was just not getting very far with the Pharisees, as a group. Outwardly they had it nailed down but inwardly they were not doing so well.
Hypocritical motivations are many and are not easy to figure out, but it is a surety that the impetus is not an inner working of the Holy Spirit. Like the Pharisees, modern day hypocrisy frequently wraps itself in legalistic mindsets which are polarizing and disruptive. This is seldom or never the work of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit mostly points inward! This work is about us and not about correcting and marginalizing others.
The willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to show us who we are, coupled with a forgiving, kind and gentle disposition is a more reliable indication of a True Believer who is free from hypocrisy. True Believers are real with God and themselves. It should be understood, that a hypocrite is not a Believer who is genuinely trying to do the best they can but fall short of Biblical Christian principles and thinking – this is the profile of most Believers I know, including myself, unfortunately.
Honest hearted Christians look inward. They are introspective. True Believers allow the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts. They evaluate their motives, inclinations, and thinking patterns. If they behave poorly they look inward to try to figure out why! True Believers have many shortcomings but one thing for sure, they are real.
Joseph C. Hutchison
Rochester Hills, Michigan
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