In ancient Greece, the theaters had no scenery, and the actors wore no costumes. To portray a character, however, they carried hand-held masks that they would place in front of their faces. They were designed to represent the character of the person in the role they were playing. They would walk onto the stage, and when speaking, hold the mask before their face.
The word hypocrisy, as we know it today, had its roots in the Greek word hupokrisis. It meant “acting a part in a play or feigning to be what one is not.” Our word, hypocrite, had its origins in the Greek work hypocrisies - one who wears a “mask” to hide their real identity.
John addressed hypocrisy when he wrote, “If someone says I belong to God, but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.” Strong words that leave no “wiggle room.”
True Christian faith results in consistent Christian living. John is confronting all of us because Christian faith results in Christian living, Christian conduct, and Christian service.
If we profess to be “Christian” but do not demonstrate Christlike behavior in “word and deed,” we are wearing a mask to present ourselves as someone other than who we are. We are attempting to represent ourselves as someone we are not.
John is encouraging us to look at our behavior in the light of God’s Word. He says, candidly, that “if we live like Christ, we belong to Christ!” In other words, “walk our talk.”
Prayer: Father, we are all capable of hiding who we are from others. But we cannot hide from You. May we come out of hiding and be Christ-like Christians. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 1 John 2:4
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