Wisdom Without Hypocrisy

I dare say we’re all familiar with the problem of hypocrisy in the church. For most of us, it’s something we’ve had close experience with. We’ve found ourselves disgusted with others who we identify as hypocrites and we may even have caught ourselves doing hypocritical things.

As we wrap up our study of how James talks about godly wisdom, we come to the last characteristic on his list. “The wisdom from above is … without hypocrisy” (James 3:17, WEB). In Greek, the words for hypocrisy and hypocrite have to do with someone playing a part, as if they were an actor on stage. They’re dissemblers, pretenders who simulate, feign, and pretend to be something they are not (Thayer’s dictionary, entries on G5273 and G5271). The opposite is what we find in wisdom — anupokritosĀ (G505), something that is unfeigned, undisguised, sincere.

The Bible tells us “wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom” (Prov. 4:7, KJV). Wisdom is something God has in abundance and which He is eager to share with those who ask for it (James 1:5). As we grow in wisdom we will become people who are sincere, authentic, and live without hypocrisy.

Traits of the Hypocritical

Before we talk more about living without hypocrisy, let’s take a look at what a hypocrite is like. Jesus talked about this quite a bit in the gospels recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke (in fact, the word hupokrites, G5273, only appears in these three books).

  • Hypocrites call attention to the godly things they do in order to be seen and respected by other people (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16)
  • Hypocrites judge others before fixing up their own problems and repenting of their own sins (Matt. 7:5; Luke 6:42)
  • Hypocrites have double standards when applying God’s law (Matt. 15:4-7; Luke 13:14-16)
  • Hypocrites try to tempt others to sin (Matt 22:17-18)
  • Hypocrites block others from getting closer to the Lord (Matt. 23:13-15)
  • Hypocrites are greedy and have misplaced priorities (Matt. 23:16-19)
  • Hypocrites get distracted by minutia and neglect the things that are most important to God (Matt. 23:23)
  • Hypocrites appear righteous on the outside but are inwardly wicked (Matt. 23:25-28; Luke 11:44)
  • Hypocrites play lip-service to God but their hearts aren’t committed (Mark 7:6)

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10 Things That INFJs Find Extremely Annoying

Have you wondered why something you thought was perfectly innocent annoyed your INFJ friend? Or why you, as an INFJ, find certain things that other people either like or don’t care about the most vexing part of your day?

Myers-BriggsĀ® personality types are a tool for talking about how our minds work. It’s a description of the mental processes that we use most comfortably, which come together in unique ways for each personality type. Because of the special way our brains are “hardwired” to function, each type has different things that they typically find annoying.

Of course, even if a group of people share a personality type there are going to be plenty of individual differences between them. Some INFJs might, for example, might have an easy time adapting to change or won’t care that much if someone interrupts them. In general, though, most INFJs are going to find the 10 things on this list extremely irritating.

10 Things That INFJs Find Extremely Annoying | LikeAnAnchor.com
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1) Deceit and Hypocrisy

One of the top reasons INFJs leave relationships or organizations (like churches) is because they get fed up with lying and hypocrisy. I put these two things together because they effect INFJs in very similar ways. Whether someone is directly lying to them or putting on a show of being something they’re not, an INFJ is likely to pick up on on the deceitful attitude quickly. It’s irritating, it breaks trust, and it drives INFJs away from the people who do it. Read more

Beware Leavened Doctrine

“Every word of God is pure,” but the same can’t be said of all the words human beings say about God’s words (Prov. 30:5, KJV). This is one of the problems Jesus called attention to in His earthly ministry. The religious leaders of His day bound heavy burdens on their followers, got distracted by seeking recognition, shut the kingdom against God’s people, greedily profited off the offerings made to God, misrepresented the truth, and focused on minutia while ignoring weighty matters of the law. In short, they were hypocrites (Matt. 23).

In Matthew 16, Jesus told His disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6, KJV). The disciples were confused at first, but after some discussion they realized He wasn’t telling them to “beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matt. 16:12, KJV).

How Leavening Works

The New Testament speaks of leavening representing hypocrisy, malice, and wickedness (Luke 12:1; 1 Cor 5:8). And when we consider the physical affect of a leavening agent like yeast, we see leaven as something souring, spreading, fermenting, and puffed-up.

Matthew Henry suggests that the warning “take heed and beware” in Matthew 16 is given because disciples are especially vulnerable to this type of deception. We can easily fall victim to those like the “Pharisees, who are great pretenders to devotion, and Sadducees, who pretend to a free and impartial search after the truth” (MHC on Matt. 16:5-12).

We’re not talking about a corrupting influence from outside the church. These people operate within, corrupting the doctrine that came direct from God. Read more

Are We Living A Performance Or Living For God?

I’d meant to just write one post about the Sermon on the Mount. Now here we are three weeks later with a third post on this study. And the first two only got through chapter five! I’m marveling at how much depth there is in such a familiar passage of scripture.

In the first part of this sermon, Jesus focuses on what God expects from those He’s in a relationship with. And it’s not always something that makes sense to human beings. The Beatitudes cover actions and character traits that don’t seem particularly positive from a human perspective, yet Jesus describes them as “blessed.” Then He starts talking about how law-keeping will change under the New Covenant. Walking in the spirit raises the bar higher, aiming for being like God rather than just living by the letter of His law. We end up keeping the law as we live in the spirit. And Jesus sticks with this theme of God’s expectations verses man’s ideas as He continues the sermon.

Are We Living A Performance Or Living For God? | marissabaker.wordpress.com
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Righteous Play-Acting

Jesus tells His hearers not to “do merciful deeds,” pray, or fast “as the hypocrites do” (Matt. 6:1-18, WEB). Those things are good — even essential — but they need to come from the right heart. The word hupokrites (G5273) means a stage actor or player who assumes a character’s role. So if you call someone who’s not on stage a hupokrites, you’re accusing them of playing a role in their lives. These people are living a performance, pretending to follow God while having other motives.

Hypocrites pretend to follow God so they can show-off to other people. But if we do that, Jesus warns “you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 6:1, WEB). The hypocrites do things for human praise and when they get it “they have received their reward” (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16, WEB). If your only motive is impressing people, then that’s all you’ll get out of your righteous play-acting. Read more