It’s not your shortcomings that make you a hypocrite; it’s hiding them and pretending you don’t have any! Note two things about hypocrisy: (1) It’s as natural as breathing. It appeals to our ego. We get hooked on it because it looks so impressive, and results in our getting lots of positive strokes. Who doesn’t enjoy that? (2) Dealing with it is hard. It’s easier to train a new Christian than to retrain an old one steeped in religion.
To win the battle with hypocrisy you must first admit you’ve a problem with it. Only then can the Holy Spirit begin a work of deliverance and set you on the path to freedom. But be warned, it’s a long and brutal fight. Our desire to look good in front of others dies slowly—if at all.
Paul writes: ‘So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking… darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they… indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ… You were taught… to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood.’ (Ephesians 4:17–25 NIV)