“No more pretense.”                                                    Eph 4:25 TM

It’s not your shortcomings that make you a hypocrite; it’s hiding them and pretending you don’t have any! Note two things about hypocrisy: (1) It’s as natural as breathing. It appeals to our ego. We get hooked on it because it looks so impressive, and results in our getting lots of positive strokes. Who doesn’t enjoy that? (2) Dealing with it is hard. It’s easier to train a new Christian than to retrain an old one steeped in religion. To win the battle with hypocrisy you must first admit you’ve a problem with it. Only then can the Holy Spirit begin a work of deliverance and set you on the path to freedom. But be warned, it’s a long and brutal fight. Our desire to look good in front of others dies slowly—if at all. Paul writes: “I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd…that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through…take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. What this adds up to…no more pretense” (vv. 17-25 TM).