Does Grace Cover Hypocrisy?

Q. Does the gift of Grace cover hypocrisy? I know all sins, except for the one, are forgivable, but it just seems that Jesus deals with hypocrisy on a totally different level whereas I was always taught and believe that in the eyes of God all sins are basically the same.

A. The dictionary defines hypocrisy as a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. To one degree or another we’re all hypocrites because we not only don’t live up to God’s standards, we don’t even live up to our own. But when Jesus went to the cross He forgave all our sins (Colossians 2:13-14), including our sins of hypocrisy.

I think Jesus appeared to be so intolerant of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy because they made such an issue of their righteousness. It blinded them to the point where they couldn’t see how clearly their outward appearances were contradicted by their inner thoughts and attitudes.

Jesus showed this so clearly in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee devoted most of his prayer to reminding the Lord how good he was and only thanked Him for not making him like other men, such as the tax collector.

In his prayer the tax collector simply admitted he was a sinner and asked the Lord to have mercy on him. Jesus said he was the one who went home justified (regarded as though innocent) before God.

Our constant prayer should be that the Lord will help us to always see ourselves like the tax collector saw himself, and never make the mistake of seeing ourselves like the Pharisee saw himself. Jesus said, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

 

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