Am I a hypocrite?

In Mathew 6:1-18, Jesus talks about what it means to be a hypocrite using three examples: giving, praying and fasting. He makes it clear that they are giving to the needy in order to be praised by others. They are praying publicly so that others will hear them. They are fasting so that others will see their devotion and sacrifice. Their actions may indicate worship of God but their motivation has little to do with him, it is primarily concerned with their own reputation.

Am I like them? Am I a hypocrite? Jesus contrasts the public show of the hypocrites with the "secret" worship of the disciple. This is not about no one ever knowing that you pray but about how your private and public life match up:

  • Do others think I'm more generous than I actually am?
  • Do I have a reputation for being "spiritual" that does not exist when I'm on my own?
  • Would I be as willing to serve if no one ever knew what I'd done?