Romans 2:1  “You, therefore, have no excuse,<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

     How easy it is to look critically at the other guy!   Your neighbour’s faults are easy to spot while your own escape notice.  Jesus did not like this nastier kind of hypocrisy; “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”  (Matthew 7:1-3)

    Don’t denounce people for lying until you have confronted your own lies and truly repented of them.   Don’t denounce people for being hypocrites until you have confronted your own hypocrisy and truly repented  if it.  Hypocrisy is the grease that eases the way for all kinds of judging.

     We have all seen lies admitted to and then rationalized by claiming ‘good intentions’ while served up in a kind of false humble repentance only to have lying be ‘business as usual’ afterwards.  My own personal and public testimony is that we all struggle  with hypocrisy; “Anger and pride drove my actions just as much as any notion of doing the right thing for His sake. ‘Tony is not pleased’ was more operative than ‘God is not pleased’ as to the inner motives of my heart.” The end state of the cancer of hypocrisy is when a person believes their own self righteous lies about themselves.  A pathetic fool is a  self-deluded fool.

   When we come before God who is Holy, the best attitude to have is that of the ‘publican’; “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”  (Luke 18:13)  The Pharisee’s prideful attitude in contrast will kill you spiritually; “And he [Jesus] spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 18;9-11)

     The attitude of your heart has profound implications for you when you approach God.  Paul deals with this problem when he discusses taking communion in an unworthy manner.  Paul writes; “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.  For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-31)  When we take  communion let us approach with a heart cry for mercy rather than with self-righteous entitlement!

     The Gospel good news for us struggling sinners is you don’t have to be good to approach God. We can approach God because we are covered by Jesus.  Jesus is our advocate; “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

     No self-righteous Pharisee can block you from God’s Grace or from approaching His throne as long as you approach with Jesus holding you upright.  No hypocrite can place a burden so heavy on you that Jesus can’t lift it off your back.   Jesus calls out to us; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28,29,30)

     Praise the Lord

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