I have been recently posting excerpts from my new book, Hypocrisy Exposed: When Evil Pretends to be Good. Hypocrisy causes confusion for those who witness it in others. There is a double-life of duplicity and deception, a mask on/mask off dynamic that leaves you wondering who the person really is. I explain this more in this excerpt from chapter three:
As we have seen in the previous two chapters, the habitual hypocrite is quite different than your average lost sinner or the Christian who stumbles into sin. Hypocrisy is far worse than we have often imagined. We can often use the term in a way that is not actually consistent with the biblical concept. In the first chapter, we defined a hypocrite as someone who wears a mask of righteousness in order to veil a heart of wickedness.
A hypocrite lives a life of duplicity, working hard to keep up a public persona while living a very different private reality. The outward appearance is portrayed as beautiful, but the inward heart is filled with depravity. It truly is a lifestyle of deception. Evil is cloaked with good, darkness masquerades as light, and lawlessness hides behind piety.
We already looked at part of Jesus’ description of hypocrisy in Matthew 23. He used the analogy of a cup that is cleansed on the outside but is filthy on the inside, and He used the example of a tomb that appears beautiful outwardly but is full of death and decay inwardly (see Matthew 23:25-28). This leads to two areas that are closely related in a lifestyle of hypocrisy:
The habitual hypocrite does not truly have moral convictions in his heart, but he knows that others do. He does not have a functional conscience, but he knows that others do. He does not really care about following God or obeying His Word, but he knows that others do. So, in order to function in a family, church, or society that has a moral compass and genuine convictions, he must wear a mask to blend in. He must live a double-life that hides the reality of what is in his heart. He must keep up a holy public persona while living a hellish private reality.