How easy it is to hide the sins and shortcomings in our lives. Rather, showing the world our true selves will cause God to smile and may be the impetus of drawing others to Him. Think about it.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES By Sally Bair
With the snow melting and the roadsides baring themselves, we’re seeing lots of deer browsing for grass again. They’re beginning to lose their thick, gray-brown winter hair, which soon will be replaced with a lighter, summer coat of reddish color. Nature has provided the perfect camouflage for this animal of the Northwoods.
People change color, too, in a different way but for the same reason. When we want to hide—camouflage—something about ourselves, we make a deliberate decision to do so. Putting on a new color can mean pretending to be something we are not. For instance, some may pretend piety but hide a substance abuse problem. Others may criticize someone yet face to face, smile and pretend nothing is wrong. Still others may profess holiness but commit sexual sins outside of marriage or delve into pornography.
Jesus spoke often against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the church leaders of the time. These men dressed and acted in a pious manner so people would look up to them and recognize the authority they had in the synagogues and throughout their communities. Many of them exhibited behavior that was an outward show of piety rather than one focused on the true intent of the law, which is love for God and others. Jesus berated these men with seven woes (“Woe to you, hypocrites …”), and ended His sermon with heartfelt words of sorrow for Jerusalem, the city of God. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37-38)
I once had a vision of a sea of smiling faces. All wore masks, camouflaging their true self. We’re all guilty at times of pretending we’re something we’re not. The faces in my vision could have represented churchgoers and leaders who are guilty of hiding their sins behind their smiles.
We may find it easy to camouflage our true, sinful self for the sake of popularity, gain, or high standing. Hypocrisy is no less a problem now than it was in Jesus’ time on earth. We would be wise to ask the Lord to reveal anything in our life that speaks of pretension.
Lord, reveal to us any hypocrisy we carry in our hearts that camouflages our true selves. Forgive us. By Your Spirit’s power, help us to replace our pretensions with love, mercy, and humility causing You to rejoice in our behavior. In Jesus’ name, amen.