“You appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (verse 28)
Hypocrisy, incongruity, duplicity. That’s the kind of behavior you get from a two-faced person, who says one thing and does something else. The biblical word for hypocrisy comes from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask.” In other words, it is someone who pretends to be what he is not, as if role-playing or acting out a part.
Let me flip this for a minute. In my junior year of high school, at the drama coach’s encouragement, I tried out for a part in the school play. To my utter surprise, I was chosen for one of the lead roles. The impact this would have on me would be truly remarkable. You see, being ‘onstage’ (hypocrisies’) let this very timid, easily intimidated, highly insecure, fearful young man be something he was not. For that brief time, while just playing a role, I got a chance to be funny and outgoing and confident and self-assured. It whet my appetite for more. And the rest is history.
On the flip side, many people live their whole lives trying to find approval and applause. Their great concern is what others think of them. And so they play many roles and wear many masks trying to give their audiences (friends) what they want. Unfortunately, they don’t realize it is God’s approval that matters most.
As such, let’s work to be real and genuine and authentic – both as individuals and as people of faith. Authenticity is very attractive.