Friday, January 12

Live transparently 

Scripture: Genesis 23-24, Luke 12

Luke 12:1–3 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”

Observation

The word “hypocrisy” translates the Greek word hypokrisis, which means “to create a public impression that is at odds with one’s real purposes or motivations, play-acting, pretense, outward show, dissembling.” (BADG) It was originally used of playing a stage role, acting a part, then came to be used negatively of those who pretend to be something they are not, or who misrepresent themselves. 

In his book, Who is This Man?, John Ortburg argues that it was Jesus’ use of the word in passages like this that gave rise to our understanding of religious hypocrisy. Jesus changed the way we view it, and demanded a thorough honesty and transparency with oneself and others. 

Jesus warned that any hypocrisy or dishonesty would one day be revealed. You may think it’s secret, but it’s not; you may think you’re getting away with it, but you’re not. 

Application

I’ve often said that I’m glad we don’t have a video screen on our foreheads that displays what we’re thinking and feeling. We’d spend a lot of time wearing some kind of covering! But Jesus calls us to live as though we do have that screen. Imagine living with that kind of transparency and honesty. I’m not suggesting that we say everything on our minds—that kind of honesty can be hurtful and toxic. I’m suggesting that we check our hearts and change inside so that we have no fear of what’s inside being ultimately seen—which it will.

How do we make that change? Only with God’s help. We can bring everything to Him—every thought and feeling, word and deed—and ask Him to sift them and leave only what is worthy. We live honestly before God so we can live honestly before people. And we invite Him to purify our hearts—every day.

Then we can live with no fear…and no hypocrisy.

Prayer: Lord, that’s how I want to live. Help me to bring everything to You and let You sift it and give me back the good. Here’s my heart—cleanse it so that I can live transparently.