Real or fake
October 19, 2021, 11:20 AM

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:2 
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:16

I like watching those so called reality pawn shop shows on TV. These shows consists of the historical information of Antique Roadshow mixed with a dose of family fun, and with my Netflix subscription I have several options to choose from. All the show pretty much follow the same M.O., customers come into the shop looking to sell or pawn the most random artifacts. Before they receive any money and the owners of the shop haggle over the price, they must determine if the item they are looking at is legitimate and worth the cash.  

The question then becomes is it real or fake? Authentic or counterfeit? Genuine or a complete fraud? When they're stumped and need advice, they bring in local experts, who are only a phone call away and somehow never busy through the magic of television. The experts provide some insight and then confirm whether the customer will see green or exit the doors with empty pockets. 

In Matthew 6, Jesus speaks about a different type of fraud and how this cheap imitation is no value. On three occasions, Jesus describes the religious folks of His day as hypocrites. They followed the rules and engaged in spiritual disciplines, like giving to the less fortunate, prayer, and fasting. To the untrained eye, these individuals appear to be the epitome of faith. They looked good on the outside. They seemed to have it all together. One would think they were the real deal. 

However, Jesus saw through their facade and noticed the spiritual forgery taking place. Instead of living for an audience of One (God), the religious leaders performed their duties in hopes the adoring crowds (man) would notice and cheer. According to Jesus, they received their short-sighted and empty reward in full. Even though they honored God with their lips, Jesus knew that their hearts were far from Him. If we're not careful, we can find ourselves in the same spot. Our human tendency is to live for the applause. 

God doesn't desire artificial obedience. Sacrifice minus a sincere heart is simply an obligation. Jesus wants us to be honest about the one thing we can hide from everyone else - our motives. That is what determines the genuineness of our words and actions. Don't shortchange your motives; they matter more than you realize. Where are you prone to hypocrisy? What makes you susceptible to slip up in this area? What steps do you need to take to prevent yourself from settling for hypocrisy in this situation?

Prayer: Father God, search my heart and expose where hypocrisy resides. Shine a light on my ulterior or selfish motives. Lord help me confront those circumstances where I am seeking the admiration of others at the expense of resting in the security of Your approval. My desire is to have a genuine relationship with You and to love others from that place with genuine concern and care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


10-19-2021 at 11:44 AM
Iva Weller
Praise God
10-19-2021 at 11:33 AM
10-19-2021 at 11:29 AM
Thanks, you’ve been missed. Very good lesson!
Post a Comment