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Robert Redford has played numerous characters in his movie career. One day, as he was walking through a hotel lobby, a woman saw him about to enter an elevator and asked excitedly, “Are you the real Robert Redford? As the elevator door was closing, he replied, “Only when I am alone.” Since Redford had played so many personalities, he would only claim to be real when he was alone. Portraying different personalities has its place in making movies, but not in real life. When our external life contradicts our internal attitudes and motives, we’re being hypocritical. When our reputation is more important than our character, we’re hypocrites. Jesus stressed this when He said our praying, giving, and fasting should not be for show. He said about fasting (Matthew, Chapter 6), “When you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Hypocrisy robs us of our character, of the positive impact we could have on others, and of our future reward from God.

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