A couple weeks ago the Gospel highlighted the roots of the conflict between Jesus and some of the Scribes and Pharisees. (Mt. 23:1-12) Jesus looked into their hearts and saw that they were not people of integrity. They neglected to do the very things that they told other people to do. For Jesus, hypocricy is the ‘worst sin’.
Jesus encourages His disciples and us to avoid falling into that same trap.
But it’s easy to be pretentious and to wear ‘holy’ masks. I can profess to be committed to loving others in one breath, and then criticize people behind their backs with the next breath. (I do this all the time with politicians!) Or I can tell children not to lie, but then fabricate a story to explain away something I actually forgot to do.
When was the last time you told someone to do something that you don’t always do?