Text: I hate, I despise your feast days and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer me burnt offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts (Amos 5:21-22)
Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to possess a higher standard or morals. It is one of major sins found among those who profess to be religious. It is in the light of this that the Lord Jesus Christ denounced the Pharisees, scribes and the Sadducees. (Lk. 11:12-3) The worst aspect of hypocrisy is that hypocrites emphasise the non-essential aspects of their religion in order to show those around them that they are pious
Today’s theme starkly confronts us with the wages of hypocrisy in their undiluted form as when Prophet Amos announces it from God to the people of Northern Kingdom (Israel). The prophetic career of prophet Amos coincided with the period of peace and prosperity in Northern Kingdom of Israel. But underneath the prosperity and peace, the Society of Northern kingdom (Israel) was complacently religious and oppressive. The poor were marginalized. In the face of their complacency in the worship of God and the oppression of the poor, God regarded their worship as hypocrisy which was not acceptable to Him.
It is quite unfortunate that despite the fact that hypocrisy is not acceptable to God, some Christians revel in it for the purpose of achieving outward impression on others as to their religious commitment. Hypocrites do not go very far in their hypocrisies before they are discovered. And their ends always correspond to their deeds. An example which can be cited in this regard is that of Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5)
Today’s theme is a warning to banish hypocrisy from our lives as it is not a Christian attitude. The way we can banish it is to eliminate all forms of presence in our lives and allow people to see us as we are with all our strengths and weaknesses. It is then he Almighty God can come into our lives and mold us for his own use
Furthermore, let us be more prayerful so as to be able to overcome the spirit of hypocrisy, because more often than not, the spirit of hypocrisy creeps into one’s life when one feels he is more successful in his religious observances than others. In an attempt to maintain one’s religiosity, one will start putting up appearances that are not real like the Pharisees, scribes and the Sadducees. Hypocrisy is an impediment to prayers; and as well makes our worship and services to God unacceptable.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi