Jesus warned about the danger of hypocrisy, the sin of using religion to cover up sin. A hypocrite is not a person who falls short of his high ideals, or who occasionally sins; all of us experience these failures.
A hypocrite deliberately uses religion to cover up his sins and promote his own gains. The Greek word translated hypocrite originally meant “an actor who wears a mask.”
The righteousness of the Pharisees was insincere and dishonest. They practiced their religion for the applause of men, not for the reward of God. But true righteousness must come from within. We should test ourselves to see whether we are sincere and honest in our Christian commitment.
The Bible commands: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind”(1 Peter 2:1, NIV).
Also consider: Matthew 6:1-16; 15:7-8.
Action assignment: Ask God to reveal to you any hypocrisy He may find in you. Tell Him you want to be genuine and true in your Christian life and present your entire being to His control.
WARREN W. WIERSBE