Shun hypocrisy – Part 2
Hypocrisy stains corrupts and destroys every good thing it touches. Hypocrisy turns almsgiving, praying, fasting, good works, love, righteousness, holiness, zeal and consecration into filthy rags.
Judas Iscariot was the greatest hypocrite of all times. He pretended to care for the poor, but his heart was not right with Christ (John 12:3-8; 13:27-29). Absalom was also a great hypocrite, who professed much devotion to God, while there was unprecedented wickedness in his heart (2 Samuel 15:1-11). Both Absalom and Judas Iscariot had outward expressions of being good, kind and nice, and those around them did not suspect that they were hypocritical. But now, their condemnation is known to the whole world and their damnation continues till eternity.
There were hypocrites in the Old Testament and there were hypocrites in the New Testament. There were hypocrites in Israel and there were hypocrites in the early church (Acts 5:1-11). There will be hypocrites in the church “in the latter times” (1 Timothy 4:1,2). Hypocrites are compared to leaven (Luke 12:1), to whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27) and to tares amidst wheat (Matthew 13:25), which will be cast into the fire at the time of the final judgment (Matthew 13:40-42).
“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” The expression signifies that our good deeds or almsgiving should be done as secretly as possible. This does not imply that husbands and wives should hide their acts of benevolence from each other (See 2 Kings 4:8-11; Romans 14:15-19). “Let not then your good be evil spoken of.” “That thine alms may be in secret” means that you are not giving to be seen of men, to gain the praise of men, to buy favour from men or to attract attention to yourself.
“And thy Father, which seeth in secret, Himself shall reward thee openly.” There is a definite reward in this world, here on earth, and there will be a sure reward after this life, in heaven. “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17). Also “thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13,14). God has promised to reward those who help others with truly compassionate hearts and unselfish motives. He will not fail; He is always faithful.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 6:1-4. Matthew 6:2; Numbers 10:1-4; Proverbs 20:6; Philippians 2:21; Job 8:13-15; 27:8-10; Matthew 23:5,28,33; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 Peter 2:1-3. Matthew 6:3,4; Colossians 3:23,24; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 9:1-9; Psalms 112:1-9; 37:21,29-33,39,40; Isaiah 3:10; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:31-46.