"By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." Hebrews 11:4
Here's what occurred to me this morning as I was meditating about this topic of hypocrisy - faith and hypocrisy are two sides of the same coin.
How does that hit you?
Where did I get that idea? From thinking about Cain and Abel. Follow me on this line of thinking, but first let's define terms.
The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means "play-acting", "acting out", "feigning" or "dissembling". The word hypocrite is from the Greek word ὑποκρίτης (hypokrites), the agentive noun associated with υποκρίνομαι (hypokrinomai), i.e. "I play a part."
So, hypocrisy is "acting" like you have something that you don't or pretending to be someone you aren't. Actors in those days often wore masks to better portray their character or if an actor was playing several characters he would do so by changing masks.
But faith is also "acting out" ("Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see") Faith is behaving according to a standard to which you have not yet attained. So hypocrisy acts out and faith acts out, why is one honored and the other despised?
Both faith and hypocrisy derive from a desire to please God and both show a desire to regain a perfection that we have lost. So why is one honored and the other despised?
Faith grows out of a genuine relationship with God through Christ. Hypocrisy arises from religion and is an attempt to please God with our own efforts.
Abel is pointed to as the father of faith while Cain is the originator of religion. Abel pleased God but Cain didn't. Both wanted to please God but only one did.
Faith acts out what God has given but has not yet been seen in a desire to please God. Hypocrisy acts out of man's pride and wisdom in the belief he can please God.
Faith desires to impress the world with the power of God. Hypocrisy wants to impress God with the power of man.
Faith springs out of the life of relationship with Christ. Hypocrisy crawls out of the dead works of religious performance and pretense.
Faith brings life while hypocrisy kills.
Faith and hypocrisy are two sides of the same coin. There is a Cain side and an Abel side. One side of the coin is genuine and the other side is counterfeit - and only God can flip the coin.
What say ye?