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For Jesus, very few things – if any – are worse than being a hypocrite. Making a public show of being holy while in private being anything but is just about as low as anyone can go, even lower than consciously choosing to be a sinner. Jesus accused nearly all of the religious leadership of being hypocrites, a charge which they not only resented but became the basis for their hatred of Jesus. People hate hearing the truth about themselves if that truth is unflattering (yes, those pants do make you look fat because you ARE fat). But rather than consider whether what Jesus said about them had any validity, the hypocrites outright rejected being called hypocrites and then outright rejected Jesus and his salvation.
Christians are called not to be hypocrites. We are also called not to be offended by what is done or said to us. Certainly, lies shouldn’t offend us, but neither should truths. We should be beyond bristling at hearing unflattering truths because those truths, however uncomfortable and no matter the source, are what we need to hear: they are a form of lesson. (more…)