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Developing integrity

'Everything they do is done for people to see.' Matthew 23:5 NIV

The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word hypokrites, which means 'stage actor'. An actor is pretending to be someone they're not, and that's what a hypocrite does. A hypocrite may act as if they believe something, when actually they don't. Or they may point out mistakes others are making, when secretly they're doing the exact same things.

The reality is that we've all behaved hypocritically. We've acted one way in public and another in private. When Jesus spoke about the Pharisees, he claimed: 'Everything they do is done for people to see' (Matthew 23:4 NIV). Jesus also said that 'they do not practise what they preach' (Matthew 23:3 NIV). Perhaps who we are at church is not always the person we are at home. Maybe we've found ourselves trapped by temptation, yet at church we sing, pray and act like nothing's wrong. We need to make sure that our lifestyle matches what we believe. We need to have integrity. And if we're pointing out someone else's faults, we should consider our own faults too. The Bible says: 'Should you say, "Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye," when you can't even see because of the board in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother' (Matthew 7:4-5 TLB).

Let's live as Jesus calls us to, with integrity and without judging others.

So what now? Honestly consider whether any hypocrisy has crept into your life. If it has, ask God to help you develop integrity in this area.

Soulfood: Mt 4:21-22 Mt 17:1-9 John 19:25-27 John 21:20-24,

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