Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hypocrisy Exam #3

By scrolling below you can find the first two of the three questions that a seminary professor of mine (Daniel Doriani) once suggested we ask ourselves in order to expose our tendencies toward hypocrisy. The final question of the three is this one:

Question #3: Are you consistent?

Here I'm just going to quote Dr. Doriani: "You are probably polite to your peers and in the presence of authorities. But a hypocrite condescends to children and mistreats those who serve at restaurants and in retail stores. A hypocrite behaves differently when no one 'important' (not one but the Lord!) is looking. Or take parents who stand at the gate of an entertainment venue where children enter for reduced prices. Suppose that the price for children up to age eleven is half that of an adult. Suppose that your child is twelve, but is small enough to pass for eleven. What do you do if the attendant asks, 'How many adults?' What if the attendant simply rings the lower price? What does a hypocrite do? What does a consistent Christian do?"

Scenarios could be multiplied over & over. The internet sites we visit publicly & privately... the work ethic we demonstrate when no one's watching... the discourtesy with which we treat family members (an impatience that we would never use with strangers in Walmart), etc.

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
~ Solomon

"Does he not see my ways and number all my steps?"
~ Job

Three good questions to expose & diagnosis where hypocrisy is taking root and growing in our lives. Spiritual practices, audience, consistency.

May we pray as that famous recovering / repenting hypocrite David did:

"Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."
~ Psalm 51

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