Faith in Christ allows us to be who we truly are.
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“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law– justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things
Matthew 23:23 New Living Translation
A photography group that I participate in has a daily online challenge. “When Cats Invade” was the daily challenge when I snapped this shot. It was my day off so I had some time to work with Cali (she’s a pretty good model if I let her do her thing).
In setting up for this shot, I accidentally created a scene that looks different from reality. It appears that light from a window spilled over the rocking chair and cast shadows on my model. Instead, I achieved this lighting using a flash and a shoot through umbrella.
I tricked my mind into believing something that wasn’t true.
That’s the definition of a hypocrite.
The Greeks perfected hypocrisy in their theaters. An actor wore an over-sized mask that represent a character he played. Because he wore a mask, the actor could play different parts with different masks in the same play without the audience knowing who he was.
Our true person is buried behind a mask when we make ourselves out to be someone we’re not. We wear a mask of confidence when we’re insecure. We wear a mask of generosity when we’re looking for attention. We wear a mask of judgment when we’re haunted by our moral failures.
Hypocrisy does nothing to change who we are or what we’ve done. Change is a gift of God through his call to repentance. When the community of God’s people meet for worship, they confess their hypocrisy and the pain it leaves behind. They take off their masks before God and one another because they know that God forgives even the most ardent hypocrites.
Jesus didn’t wear a mask on the cross but was stripped to nothing. In his nakedness, he forgives hypocrites and empowers them for honest living.
Picture and Text Copyright Douglas P Brauner