What is a Hypocrite ?
The insincere man who thinks he can get the best of both worlds by compromising with good and evil only increases the disease of his heart, because he is not true to himself. Even the good, which comes to him, he can pervert to evil. So, the rain, which fills out the ear of corn or lends fragrance to the rose also lends strength to the thorn or adds strength to the poison of the deadly nightshade.
Hypocrites are untrue to themselves and therefore their hearts are diseased. The disease tends to spread, like all evil. They are curable, but if they harden their hearts, they soon pass into the category of those who deliberately reject light.
As with hypocrisy, deception, arrogant compromise with evil, or cynicism may win temporary applause, but the true light of faith and sincerity is wanting, therefore it must mislead and ruin all concerned.
Hypocrites cannot speak or hear each other and they cannot see, so they end up creatures wildly groping around, dumb, deaf and blind.
The glib hypocrite who appears worldly-wise but plans harm has a smooth tongue and indulges in plausible talk with many oaths. Behind your back he is an implacable enemy. He stirs up quarrels, and causes all sorts of mischief to you and your friends.
In the first place, they give counsels of caution but it is nothing but cowardice. Secondly, they wish no good for the community, but want it only to be in a contemptible position. They are for ease and fair words. Pretending to be religious, they are nearer to unbelief. They leave others to defend the ideals and faith.
How should hypocrites by treated? To take them into your confidence would be foolish. To wage unrelenting war against them may destroy the hope of reforming them and purging them of their hypocrisy.
The man of God keeps clear of their wiles, but at the same time does not hesitate to show them the error of their ways or put in a word to penetrate their hearts and win them back to God.
Hypocrites have no principles, but watch for an opportunity to turn any event to their own advantage. They try to place themselves on any side, which they think has the upper hand.
Dissecting the motives of the hypocrites causes fear in them because it means that they will fail in their policy of having the best of both worlds and undermining the loyalty of the weaker members of the community.
Hypocrisy is a halfway house, a state of indecision in the choice between good and evil. The forms of hypocrisy may vary, but they are all alike, and they understand each other’s hypocrisy. Hypocrites pretend a great deal, but are of no use or real help to anyone.
The hypocrite element is a source of weakness and a danger to the health of any society and to its very existence. The hypocrites, at all times, are plausible people. They present a fine exterior; they may dress well; they can usually afford the finer things; they try to win the confidence of everyone, as they have no scruples in telling lies, and apparently expressing agreement with everyone. Their words are fair-spoken, and as truth does not check their tongues, their flattery and deception know no bounds. But all this is on the outside. As they have no sincerity, nothing that they say or do is worth anything.
Hypocrisy reflects an inner fear. But, even hypocrisy, like other sins can be forgiven by repentance and amendment, provided there is a will and earnest desire to turn from evil and seek the Grace of God. Courage rescues man from the clutches of hypocrisy and instills sincerity into his soul.
Hypocrites can obtain forgiveness on four conditions, namely:
(1) sincere repentance, which purifies their mind,
(2) amendment of their conduct, which purifies their outer life,
(3) steadfastness and devotion to God, which strengthens their faith and protects them from the assaults of evil; and
(4) sincerity in their religion, or their whole inner being, which brings them as full members into the goodly Fellowship of Faith.