Sometimes, we assume what certain words mean, that our world throws around, like a beachball on a beach. Philip Yancey provides the root meaning of the word hypocrite:
“The word hypocrisy means, simply, “putting on a mask.” Evidently Jesus himself coined the word, borrowing it from the Greek actors, or hypocrites, who entertained crowds at an outdoor theater near his home. It describes a person who puts on a face to make a good impression.”
What if you awake one morning to the realization that you have spent your entire life “acting”? Playing a person that isn’t real. Putting on the ritz is exhausting, especially when you come up empty. Reminds me of the chorus to an Amy Grant song entitled Nobody Home:
“Where we used to belong, there ain’t nobody home. You can knock all you want, but ain’t nobody home.”
The heart becomes hollow, like a vacant house, the more we refuse to “face” ourselves.
Celebrities, who put themselves out there, by sharing their faith, are game for critics, who love to shoot ‘em down. That’s why it was refreshing to hear Kathie Lee Gifford tell Sheila Walsh, on the talk show **Life Today, that she is not perfect.
For those of us who desire to be real and authentic, who follow God imperfectly, sin is still an issue, yet rarely talked about. Why did the author of Hebrews write, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up…” (12:1b, NLT)
Some of us “act” like sin isn’t real, so we live our lives however we want. But James said “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (5:16a) That verse does not mean my friends can forgive me for my sins. As I told two eager Mormons, on our front porch, one humid Sunday evening, Jesus is the “only” mediator between God and man. Timothy backs this up, “For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity-the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5, NLT)
When I admit that I struggle with a particular sin, with a fellow sojourner, the mask comes off. The masquerade ends. Not everyone can do this, nor does every believer do this. You do have to be careful who you share your life with. I remember the time I bore my soul to a person I thought was a brother in Christ, and I received the deer in the headlights look.
More important than keeping our eyes on people, God extends the invitation to really “know” Him. He is the only One who will never let you down. Many religious people claim to know Him, but Jesus, frankly said, “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!’ (Matthew 7:23, NIV) God wants us to willingly come to Him, as we are, without masks. Have you taken yours off?
**Click link below to watch the in-depth interview with Kathie Lee Gifford (and then hit the play button):
House pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”
Mask pictures courtesy of Pexels