It strikes me how sternly and often Jesus spoke about hypocrisy (Matt 16:6, 23:28, Luke 12:1, etc). If the Teacher sees fit to warn about something and call attention to it repeatedly, it’s important and something I need to press into.
So, I’ve been praying for some time, “Lord, what is hypocrisy? What is the corruption in us that you are speaking to when you say ‘hypocrisy’? How do I identify it in me?” I believe this answer came to me during my study time today,
“Hypocrisy is to elevate oneself and condemn fault in others that we overlook in ourselves.”
This is informed by passages such as Romans 2:1, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” In short, we are all corrupt and corruption causes harm. Period. So, we’re all guilty and in need of mercy. If we have received such great mercy as that made available in Jesus Christ, we know it was not because we were worthy but because He is merciful, else mercy is not mercy. This should produce in us humility and compassion, definitely not superiority.