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Authenticity, not Hypocrisy: Walk in Truth and Light

Romans 2:1

Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are, who judges: for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge do the same things.


My dear brothers and sisters, today, we seek to explore the scripture and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ to guide us on the important matter of avoiding double standards and hypocrisy. This is an admittedly complex topic, but our faith can provide illuminating insights. We turn to the Holy Word of God in Matthew 23:27-28 where Jesus admonished the Pharisees: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."


The first step in tackling hypocrisy is acknowledging its existence. As humans, we are not perfect. We falter, we err, and sometimes we cannot live up to the standards we set for others. It is this failure, when not recognised and addressed, that leads to hypocrisy. The Pharisees exemplified this behaviour, living in outward piety but nurturing wickedness underneath. Like them, we may fall into the trap of pursuing a facade of righteousness while nurturing contrary behaviours in secret.


To avoid this, we must create a consistent and authentic life of faith. This begins with developing a deep, personal relationship with God – one where we are not merely paying lip service or treating faith as an accessory, but seeking Christ in every area of our lives. It is through this relationship that we will be transformed, that our actions, words, and thoughts will reflect the divine truth we profess.


The teaching of Christ in Matthew 7:1-2 reminds us: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." A critical aspect of avoiding double standards is to refrain from judgement. Not that we should disregard sin. Rather, we should approach others with love, understanding, and a desire for their spiritual growth – just as we would want them to do for us.


Last, let us endeavour to cultivate self-awareness and humility. We must examine our hearts and actions regularly, ensuring our walk in faith aligns with our talk. This self-examination should not yield shame, but a determination to improve and grow in Christ. Remember the repentant tax collector in Luke 18:13, who, recognising his shortfalls, prayed: "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." In this humility and self-awareness, we find the antidote to hypocrisy and double standards.


As we conclude, let us take a moment to ask God for His divine help. We pray for His light to expose areas of our lives where we may foster hypocrisy, for His love to teach us how to treat others authentically and without judgement, and for His grace to continue walking in the path of righteousness. And by His mercy, may we shun all double standards and hypocrisy, living as genuine reflections of His divine image. May God bless and guide us all. Amen.