“And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites… Therefore, do not be like them…” (Matthew 6:8).
All right, class, listen up. If you expect to be the next generation of hypocrites, you need to give me your full attention. The old Pharisees will be passing off the scene before long, and we’ll need a new class of the double-minded–you know, the play-actors–ready to step up and fill their ranks.
Tongue firmly planted in cheek now, everyone? All right. Let us proceed….
It’s not easy being a hypocrite. You’re always working on two levels, keeping things to yourself while presenting another image to the world. And that’s hard. It takes a pretty smart person to pull this off. Shallow lazy people can be a lot of things, but not a successful Pharisee.
Scripture says “a double-minded person is unstable in all his ways; he should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” That’s James 1:7-8. We cite it here for two reasons. First, to say how tough our calling is, and second, to remind ourselves that being hypocrites we’re not expecting to receive anything from the Lord for our prayers. That’s not the point.