Be The Same Person Everywhere

“I hate double-minded people, but I love your law” (Psalm 119:113).

Have you ever heard of the term “Sunday morning Christian?”  This is a derogatory term for people that are Christian on Sunday morning but the complete opposite the rest of the week.  Some of us are a little bit better and we make sure to “act Christian” in public but not in private.  The “Sunday morning Christian” and the “public Christian” are both hypocrites.

The word hypocrite ultimately came into English from the Greek word hypokrites, which means “an actor” or “a stage player.” The Greek word itself is a compound noun:  it’s made up of two Greek words that literally translate as “an interpreter from underneath.”  That bizarre compound makes more sense when you know that the actors in ancient Greek theater wore large masks to mark

which character they were playing, and so they interpreted the story from underneath their masks.  A Christian follows Jesus 24/7 – in public and private.  In our “human condition” we strive to impress others and God with our acts of piety.   Jesus addressed this issue in Matthew 6:1-8.

1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Good works are how we show Christian love to others.  However, our works should flow naturally as a result of our love for Christ and our desire to share His love.  Ephesians 2:8-9, teaches us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

PrayerThis, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  11 Give us today our daily bread.  12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-13).

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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