Still Wearing Masks? - Hypocrisy - Self-Deception Series 32 – Purity 1121
Purity 1121 08/15/2023 Purity 1121 Podcast
Purity 1121 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of green and blue waters along the shore of a peaceful lake scene comes to us from Nik Harrang who shared this serene scene from his family vacation to Lake Tahoe in western California over the weekend on social media.
Well, It’s Tuesday and although I was just on vacation for two weeks, my employer has decided to bless me with a day off today with the “catch” that I am scheduled and expected to work Saturday. As I choose to look on the bright side of things since I have decided to follow Jesus, I am content with the situation because after a relatively easy day at work yesterday, I spent the late afternoon waging war on my lawn with my “little buddy” the name I gave to the smaller, and (let’s face it) less efficient, craftsman lawnmower I bought in haste earlier this summer when I neglected to maintain my previous mower and think I killed it. I have a small plot of land at River house but because I live down by The River the front portion of my lawn/weeds grows thick and more than once my mechanical “little buddy” coughed, choked, and stop when the moist grass clumped and refused to be expelled from the undercarriage of the mower. That’s the reason I named the new mower “little buddy” because shortly after I purchased I could see that it wasn’t as powerful or efficient as my previous mower so to maintain my cool at its lackluster performance I got in the habit of speaking encouraging words to it. “Come on, little buddy… you can do it!”
In those early, drier months, a little encouragement and patience seemed to be adequate as my buddy may have been “little” but it got the job done. However, as the rains have been plentiful this summer and the lawn has become robust and water logged even on dry days, my “little buddy” has struggled mightily and as I mow I have to employ all the patience I have to not “lose it” as I repeatedly find myself having to lift and shake and bang the lawn mower on the asphalt surface of State Route 9J in order to clear the mower of the grassy debris when I do the front part of my property. State Route 9J is highway by the way and I really have to focus on what I am doing when I am out front because the traffic is whizzing by at 55 miles per hour. More than once yesterday afternoon did I come close to the end of my patience and the end of my life as I had to be sure that the road was clear when I dragged the spurting lawn mower out to the road to knock out the clumping grass.
In the past, I have shared how I loved “stewarding” my property down by The River as I would listen to worship music or Christian audiobooks when I would mow the lawn or when I would shovel snow in the winter and just marvel over how blessed I have been with what the Lord has brought me to. Well, yesterday the mood was less celebratory as I called on the Lord for strength and had to repeated bring my thoughts back under control as the struggle mowing invited the enemy to whisper all kinds of negative and condemning thoughts into my mind. But I “got ‘er done” and although I may have contemplated hiring a lawnmowing service or spending a small fortune on a bigger badder mower in the future, I calmed myself will consider perhaps mowing the lawn every week instead of two weeks, schedule and weather permitting, going forward.
As much as I would like to put on a happy face and whistle while I work, yesterday’s struggles demand that I keep it real and avoid portraying myself as someone who is always “shiny and bright” just because I am a Christian. While I am no curmudgeon either (or take some in pride in a grump like some people do), I want to portray myself as honestly as I can because one of the things about “church-ianity” that bothered me all my life was how people in the church building put on “masks” along with their Sunday best. Their appearance and manner would lead you to believe that they were just fine upstanding Christians who did everything right and didn’t have any cares or concerns because they didn’t talk about such things. But then you would see the mask slip as they spoke angry words to their family members to keep the flock in line or you would hear about some scandalous behavior they were involved in. In light of those reports or little red flags indicating problems you discovered that the “Christian persona” that they were putting out there was just an act. They were one of those “hypocrites” in the church!
And that brings us to our current series on Self-Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves.
So we present the ninth of the “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:
The Steps to Freedom in Christ describes lying as “presenting a false image.”
We touched on hypocrisy yesterday as we looked at lying as a defense mechanism. I gave examples of lying by saying “everything was fine” when it wasn’t and by telling lies about who you were in some manner to create a false image.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of examples of hypocrisy in my experience to draw from and the truth is that if we are honest we all dip into the hypocrisy pool at one time or another. We struggle through life to find our identities and in the process of growing up or in growing into who we are in Christ, we can easily be seen as presenting a false image because of our tendency to be inconsistent. We want to be a fine upstanding Christian, but we have secret sins. We want to be the “sports team, celebrity” fan or enthusiastic “hobbyist” but we don’t know as much as those “die hard” fans or don’t know as much about our latest interest as those people who have been practicing it all their lives (or so they portray). Instead of admitting our struggles to “do the right thing and repent publicly as Christians, or to admit that we don’t know as much about our current interest or hobby, we choose the “easier path of hypocrisy” and decide to just fake it till we make it or hide beneath masks to shield people from the truth about us.
During covid-19 the world was told to put on masks. In the early days, people bought up the supplies and they were very scarce. As the pandemic continued, people started to make their own masks and merchants profited by creating masks with designs and logos that people identified with. I myself purchased a black mask with a white cross on it to represent my Christian faith. But as clear as I thought that the symbol of the cross was a representation of my Christian faith, some approached me and revealed that I was wearing it as a memorial to “all the people who died of Covid” While I said that I certainly had empathy for all those who lost loved ones during those months, I informed them that I wore it because I was a Christian and wanted to encourage people to put their faith in Christ. Instead of advertising some sports team or other symbol or design that was fashionable, I wanted to display what I believed in and put my faith, Jesus represented by a cross that He died on to save us.
But I also was very aware of the things I said and did when I wore that cross. I was working two jobs back then and had most of my exposure to the public with my night job at Walmart. So when I was working I tried to represent my faith by being kind, courteous, and helpful. I didn’t wear a mask with a cross on it and act like a jerk.
When I came to faith in Christ, I was a big sinner but as I got to know more about God and the Bible I realized that if I wanted to represent His kingdom I should repent of my sins and start living according to what the Bible said was right. I eventually went into recovery and pursued sexual purity because of the conviction I felt to not only “talk the talk, but to walk the walk” of being a born-again Christian. I hated the hypocrisy that I had seen in the church and when I decided to put my faith in Jesus I eventually decided that I didn’t want to by a hypocrite by claiming the forgiveness of God and living in darkness. I was finally in the light of God’s grace, and I increasingly became committed to reflect that light. While I am still a work in progress, I am sure not who I used to be and endeavor to not present a false image by being as honest and transparent as I can be.
I often say, “If you don’t like hypocrites in the church, don’t be one.” because our Lord and Savior was the first to point out when someone was trying to appear to be clean on the outside when they were polluted by sin and bitterness on the inside.
Jesus condemned hypocrites and the last thing we want to do as Christians is to portray a false image of ourselves and be guilty of what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for. So we humbly admit the truth about ourselves, lean on the Lord’s strength and guidance to help us to walk in His ways, and give all the glory to God for any positives changes in our lives as we encourage others to follow Jesus.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.
( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Today’s verse fall under the eighteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials
18. Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Today’s verse encourages us to look to the fulfillment of our faith and the blessed state that is our future.
The apostle Paul suffered greatly. He was beaten, imprisoned, and eventually executed for His faith in Jesus but before he died he wrote that he considered his sufferings to not be worth comparing to the glory that would be revealed in us.
This can, of course, point to our eternal state in God’s kingdom – in heaven and in the future new heaven and new earth. On the other side of our death, or when Jesus returns, we will be in the presence of the Lord, and we will be transformed with glorified bodies at some point. We will be like the resurrected Christ! I can’t imagine what that is going to be like, but I can imagine is going to be good. So death has lost and our present suffering can lose its sting, when we contemplate the glorified future we have with God!
But this verse could also point to the sanctification that can happen in our lives before we go into eternity! In the early days of my recovery from alcohol, drugs, and eventually sexual immorality, I suffered a lot. I had previously been in fleshly cycles of addiction and giving those things up created physical and mental pains in my life. But because God was faithful in leading me out of the darkness and because of the hope of sobriety and purity set before me, I was able to endure the suffering for the “glory that would be revealed” in me. I’m “walking in glory” now! I celebrate my freedom and rejoice over what the Lord has done and actively encourage others to consider their sufferings in choosing to repent to be nothing to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in them when they experience the freedom and victory that the Lord is leading them to!
So, endure the suffering of this life and whatever battle you are fighting, because I know the Lord is leading us “from glory to glory” and there is no end in sight for the glory that will be revealed in us!
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3)
A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit
20 - The Spirit Cleansing
The title of this chapter may possibly surprise some readers who have supposed that cleansing from sin is by the blood of Christ alone. Judicially it is so, but in connection with experimental purging, certain distinctions need to be drawn in order to a clearer understanding. Here, the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit is the efficient cause, the blood of Christ is the meritorious and procuring cause, faith’s appropriation of the Word is the instrumental cause. It is by the Holy Spirit our eyes are opened to see and our hearts to feel the enormity of sin, and thus are we enabled to perceive our need of Christ’s blood. It is by the Spirit we are moved to betake ourselves unto that “fountain” which has been opened for sin and for uncleanness. It is by the Spirit we are enabled to trust in the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice now that we realize what Hell-deserving sinners we are. All of which is preceded by His work of regeneration whereby He capacitates the soul to see light in God’s light and appropriate the provisions of His wondrous mercy.
It is now our purpose to trace out the various aspects of the Spirit’s work in purging the souls of believers, for we do not wish to anticipate too much the ground we hope to yet cover in our articles upon “Sanctification,” yet this present topic would be incomplete were we to pass by this important phase of the Spirit’s operations. We shall therefore restrict ourselves unto a single branch of the subject, which is sufficiently comprehensive as to include in it all that we now feel led to say thereon, namely, that of mortification. Nor shall we attempt to discuss in detail the varied ramifications of this important Truth, for if we are spared we hope some day ere very long to devote a series of articles to its separate consideration, for it is far too weighty and urgent to be dismissed with this brief notice of it.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify’ the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13). A most solemn and searching verse is this, and one which we greatly fear has very little place in present-day preaching. Five things in it claim attention. First, the persons addressed. Second, the awful warning here set before them. Third, the duty enjoined upon them. Fourth, the efficient Helper provided. Fifth, the promise made. Those here addressed are regenerated believers, Christians, as is evident from the whole context: the Apostle denominates them “brethren” (v. 12).
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