Things are often not what they seem. Not just things; people also. Like sod, the pretty side faces up or out, and the ugly side stays covered. We do this in spite of what Jesus says: “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:2 ESV) We sincerely hope that his words do not apply to us. We are sadly mistaken.
The well-known word for our problem is “hypocrisy.” It is the common habit of putting a pretty face on an ugly situation. It is the covering up of what we are ashamed so that we can maintain our dignity or our pride. Jesus shows little tolerance for it, especially among those who are religious (cf. Matthew 23).
Consider with me two things: most amazing, I think. The first is Jesus himself. There was not a hint of hypocrisy in him. He had no ugliness to hide. No resentments. No selfish motives. No hidden agendas. He came to do the will of the Father, which required him to love sinful people sacrificially, and to have himself turned quite literally inside out for them. He said what he was about, and he executed accordingly. It is unheard of in our world, apart from him.
But secondly, I want you to imagine with me the Kingdom of God, when it comes in its fullness, when every enemy is defeated, and every impurity cleansed. At that point, every member of that kingdom will be completely free from hypocrisy. We will have absolutely nothing to hide; nothing to pretend. It will be like Jim Carrey in “Liar, Liar,” but with no ugly truths blurted out, because the ugliness will be gone. Limitations and weaknesses? Yes. And we will freely admit those things. But no sin. One could dig under the pretty, green sod of your life, and they would find no dirt.
Now, if you can meditate a bit on Jesus and his perfection; and if you can imagine an honest world filled with only honest people; - then what is left is for you and me to begin practicing today. We should practice being like Jesus. Oh, we will struggle, and we will fail. But then we must help each other upward and onward. Have the courage to confess your sins to a brother or sister in Christ. Have the compassion of Jesus to listen to the shocking sins of someone that you would never have dreamed …
There is an extra-biblical adage that says, “Honesty is the best policy.” The Bible backs it up with something like, “Hypocrisy is the worst.”