“All their works they do to be seen by men.” Mt 23:5 NKJV
Here’s a working definition of the word hypocrisy: “to be seen by men.” Jesus had a no-tolerance policy when it came to hypocrisy. Why? Because He knew it turns people against God. Instead, He taught: (1) Expect no credit for your good deeds. None. If no one notices, you aren’t disappointed. If someone does, you give the credit to God. Stop and ask yourself this question: “If no one knew of the good I do, would I still do it?” If not, you’re doing it “to be seen” by people. (2) Give your financial gifts in secret. Money stirs the phony within us. We like to be seen earning it. And we like to be seen giving it. So Jesus said, “When you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Mt 6:3 NLT). (3) Don’t fake your spirituality. When you go to church, don’t select a seat just to be seen, or sing just to be heard. If you raise your hands in worship, raise holy ones, not showy ones. When you talk, don’t doctor your vocabulary with trendy religious terms. Nothing nauseates more than a fake “Praise the Lord,” or a shallow “Hallelujah,” or an insincere “Glory be to God.” Ever hear children in a playground shouting, “Watch me?” That’s acceptable because they’re still immature, but it’s not acceptable in God’s kingdom. Silence the trumpets. Cancel the parade. Enough with the name-dropping. If accolades come, politely deflect them before you believe them. Slay the desire to be noticed. Stir the desire to serve God. In other words, don’t be a hypocrite!