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Dressing Up

Halloween is just around the corner. If my memory serves me right, I was He-man one year. It seems like I had one of those plastic masks with eyes cut out and with the elastic to hold it on. In He-man’s case I could raise my sword and transform from a wimpy eight-year-old to a man of muscles. But it was only pretend. I did not have a real sword, and I could not pick up anything that I could not pick up before I put the mask on. I think it is fine for kids to make believe or pretend to be someone they are not, but for adults it can become a problem.

In fact, the Bible calls this hypocrisy and condemns it (Matthew 23:27-28). In my understanding of the word, it refers to an actor who plays different roles and will change his mask to indicate a different role. So he might play a good guy with one mask on and a bad guy with a different mask on in the same play. I believe what the Bible is condemning is the living of a sinful life but pretending to be a righteous person when it benefits you. Some examples might be someone who cheats on his taxes but teaches a Bible class on obeying the government or a woman who condemns another for gossip when she is a gossip herself.

You might be concerned that you are a hypocrite, and the reality is that we have all probably been one before. I think what the Bible is condemning is living a life contrary to what we claim to be. It is claiming to follow Jesus on Sunday but living a life that does not back that up. Does that mean every time we sin we are a hypocrite? Anytime we sin we are being hypocritical. We want to deal with that sin as quickly as possible so we do not become a hypocrite. I think what I am saying is that, yes we all sin, but do not put up a mail box in that sin and live there.


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