TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. (Matthew 15:18 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I recently saw a graphic on Facebook that said, “Don’t let your lips and your life preach two different messages.” BOOM! Mic drop. Simple. To the point. Hits home.
And unfortunately, it’s a real problem. But before we start mentally making a list of all the hypocrites we know who need to see this, let’s make sure we don’t have any fingers pointing at ourselves or a log of wood coming out of our own eye (Matthew 7:1-5). After all, some of the harshest words Jesus spoke were against hypocrisy.
In Matthew 15:7-8, Jesus said, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…’” He was speaking to the Pharisees, and a few verses later, He continued, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:18-19).
And if that wasn’t direct enough, let’s go to James 1:26. James, who never minced his words, said, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
So how can you make sure you’re not a hypocrite? I mean, no one likes a hypocrite! Even hypocrites don’t like hypocrites, but few ever even recognize themselves as one. However, the Bible gives us some guidelines on how to test ourselves for the sin of hypocrisy. Let’s flip forward to 1 John 2:4-6. It says, “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
In short, if we preach a message of Christianity with our lips, then our lives have to reflect Jesus. By patterning our lives after Christ, and giving the Holy Spirit permission to guide us, God can begin to perfect us as it says in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
It’s something we won’t be 100% perfect at because we are, in this life, at war with our flesh and sinful natures. But it’s possible to live a life that is God-honoring and show the world—through word and action—that we are sincere in our faith.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His life that is so worthy of following. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and shape you to be more like Jesus. Ask Him to help you be authentic and sincere; to speak the Truth of Jesus and be bold enough to live it too.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.