Psalm 120:1 - 2, 6 - 7
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.
Save me, Lord from lying lips and from deceitful tongues…
… Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. (NIV)
Have you every been confronted for hypocrisy? What did you feel and how did you respond to it?
Many years ago on a mission trip, I was asked by one of the leaders who came with me what I thought about my country. This was a trigger topic and so I started ranting and complaining about the poor administration, the apparent discriminations and lack of freedom. At the end of these rants, the leader looked me in the eye with sadness and said, “You better repent! You are a Christian leader and ought to love your neighbours. How is it that you hate the country that the Lord has placed you in?”
Being confront by truth (in love) was never comfortable especially when it revealed my deep-rooted hypocrisy. I have professed my love for God and people often, but when I was asked about my country, all I had to say were hurtful, bitter and resentful words. Oh, how the Holy Spirit rebuked me that day and all I could say was: Save me, Lord from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
The Psalms today is a prayer of repentance and for deliverance. The Psalmist came to realize of his own hypocrisy and out of his deep distress called out to God for deliverance from the pending wrath. He recognizes that “God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble” (Pro. 3:34; Ja. 4:6), and so implores to God for mercy in a form of deliverance from “lying lips and deceitful tongues.” He sought for divine help for a personal transformation (reformation). He also recognized that he had been among people who hated peace, though himself was for peace, all he had to say from his heart was war and violence. Jesus did say that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mat. 12:34; Pro. 10:11). Thus, it was his words that revealed his hypocrisies; and it is our words that will reveal ours.
Perhaps the Lord is reminding you of your hypocrisies. Perhaps, while you spoke to others about forgiving others you are harbouring unforgiveness in your heart. Or you have been telling people not be judgmental but you are secretly despising a fellow believer. Today, we can learn from the Psalm by turning to God in sincere repentance. Let us confess our hypocrisies and seek the Holy Spirit to bring transformation in our lives that will glorify the Father!
I pray that we will be saved from our hypocrisies. The Lord be with you.
(Take time to journal and pray on what the Holy Spirit may be revealing to you through today’s devotion.)