This morning I was reading Proverbs 23, and I came across the following verses:
Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.- Proverbs 23:6,7, NKJV, emphasis mine
The phrase “his heart is not with you” sounded familiar. I had read it elsewhere in Scripture, if in a slightly different form:
Therefore the LORD said:“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths- Isaiah 29:13,14, NKJV, emphasis mine
And honor me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden."
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophecy about you, saying:’These people draw near to Me with their mouth,- Matthew 15:7-9, NKJV, emphasis mine
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
This is the definition of a hypocrite: Not that they do not have feelings to back up what they say or what they do; No.
Hypocrisy goes deeper than our feelings. It goes to the inner man.
Hypocrisy is to be something entirely different on the inside than what you claim with your lips and even what you do with your life.
Hypocrisy is what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for.
Jesus called the (scribes and) Pharisees “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27, NKJV)
In other words, they were not at all what they appeared to be:
They had every appearance of being holy, but they were actually unholy.
They had every appearance of being righteous, but they were actually unrighteous.
They had every appearance of men who loved God, but they actually did not love God.
What about me? Have I been “born again”? Or am I trying to fake a new birth by keeping the commandments of men?
Is there real change on the inside of me? Or only the appearance of it?
Is there real "fruits worthy of repentance” being borne in my life? Or only bad fruit that looks good, but tastes disgusting? (see Matthew 3:8, NKJV)
I don’t want to “say to [Him], ‘Lord, Lord,’” and not “enter the kingdom of heaven”. I don’t want to hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (see Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV)