No one likes a hypocrite. All of us have met phonies – superficial people who seem to have very little under their smooth shell: all image but little substance. Jesus attacked and criticized the hypocritical religious leaders who appeared to be very pious and very religious. But underneath their façade, they were deceitful, greedy, and dishonest. Jesus said they were like white-washed tombs – they looked good from the outside, but they were internally corrupt.
We read in 1 Samuel 16:7: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” How is your heart? Whatever our public image, God knows our secrets. Are you more concerned with the externals than the internals? As followers of Christ, we need to consider whether we are living consistently with what we say. We want reality in others, but we may not be very real ourselves!
We can also find ourselves trusting in the trappings of religion rather than relying on true authentic faith in Jesus Christ. You may think growing up in a religious home or being baptized makes you secure with God. Mere religion provides no security from the judgment of God.
Authentic faith in Jesus Christ is not just a profession of the mouth or following rituals. It is a regeneration of the heart by the Holy Spirit leading to a transformation of your life from the inside out. God is first concerned with your heart.
Is there spiritual reality in your life?