Day 23: Hypocrisy
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
The Bible tells us that this woman was caught in adultery. Notice something missing? Where’s the man she was sinning with? If she were caught in the act, the Pharisees had to have caught him, too, yet they didn’t bring him to be accused publicly.
That two people were involved in this sin and yet they only accused one is part of the hypocrisy Jesus highlights when He says that whoever “is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” The Pharisees are motivated by faulting their ability to appear good and by pointing out others’ sins.
In Matthew 7:1, Jesus told us, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” This verse is sometimes misused to claim Christians should not expect holiness from anyone, but it is really a warning against hypocrisy (especially judging others for sins you excuse for yourself) and setting yourself up as the judge when God is the true judge of all things. We can tell if others sin not because it offends us personally, but by whether their behavior matches up to God’s standards.
When you believe someone else has sinned, you may need to ask yourself, “Is this actually a sin? How do I know? Is this a sin I need to correct in my own life too? If I point out this sin, am I motivated by honoring God and restoring this person’s relationship with God and with others?”
Questions for discussion and reflection
- Are there sins that you judge in others but allow for yourself?
- What sins do you need to correct in your own life right now with God’s help?
Dear God, please show us our sins so that we can repent and honor You through our obedience. Help us hold one another accountable in a spirit of love and mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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