Proverbs 7:13-14 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I paid my vows.
When someone who has had a previous “good reputation” is caught in hidden sexual sin, people tend to ask, “How could they be such a hypocrite? How could they hide it so well? How can someone appear to be so ‘good’ when in reality they were living such a double life filled with lies and wanton immorality?”
The recent hacked Ashley Madison account disclosure with pastors and well-known Christians listed on the user accounts, has caused many people to ask questions like that. Even non-believers are taken aback when someone with a godly reputation falls. It causes scoffing and brings shame to the church.
We want to know why they pretended to be good. Why didn’t they just live openly unrighteous lives instead of hiding their sexual sin and making us believe they were something they obviously were not?
People entrenched in sexual sin do not usually just decide to start deceiving people into thinking they are moral people. Leading a double life usually starts when someone who is trying to live an upright moral life makes a small decision to compromise in an area they know is wrong. That compromise leads to other compromises until they lead two distinctly different lifestyles. But even then, they themselves don’t see it that way. They view themselves as being a good person with just a small problem that they struggle with.
The first small compromise usually causes more guilt and shame than all our worst immoral actions that happen while we are living at the height of our sham. Compromise brings an eventual seared conscience and causes us to become deceived by our own sin. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”.
When we know God’s standard (hearing), but we don’t do it, we become deceived. After awhile, it really doesn’t seem that bad anymore. We can convince ourselves that our choices will only affect us. We become convinced we can have the best of both worlds.
In the above verses, you can see this is the case for the woman involved here. She’s “impudent” – shamelessly bold. There is no evidence of shyness, guilt, or fear. She’s done this before. She doesn’t even bother to hide her actions behind closed doors only. Her lack of a fear of getting caught shows this is not the first time this happened. She is used to getting away with it.
Here is a woman that is deceived about sin. She is living in direct disobedience to God’s commands and yet she is going through all the motions of bringing offerings (sacrifices) and paying her vows. Peace offerings, “thank offerings”,were given to the priest who took part of it and the rest was taken home to be shared with the partaker’s family. So now she is inviting this young man to come eat this meal with her.
Today’s hypocrites look like this, too. They pay lip service at church, look good outwardly, and may even have a list of good works to their record, but they hide a life that is steeped in sin and self-love. They convince themselves that they are not really that bad because they have a “form of godliness”. They see their sin as not being “that bad”. They reason that all the good things they do have balanced out the bad. And when they do something for the Lord (their sacrifice), they think, “I have added good into my account..” We can see evidence of this in this woman’s life in the next verse; “Therefore..”
But as Samuel said to Saul, “To obey is better than to sacrifice..” They don’t realize that God hates that type of sacrifice. It is a stench to Him. He sees the heart and sees the hypocrisy.
But hypocrites don’t see their own hypocrisy. They see their immorality as only a small problem in a life that is generally an upright life. They have allowed themselves to be deceived.