A hypocrite is someone who is presenting themselves as something they are not.
An example would be an actor on a stage. They are hypocrites. They say they are the character they are portraying, but in reality they are not.
Christians are some of the best actors, some of the best hypocrites.
These Christians often confuse holiness with hypocrisy. A Christian that attempts to live a life focused on holiness (see blog: 100% Holiness is the Goal) is oftentimes labeled as a hypocrite.
The reason for this is that other Christians are convicted of their laziness.
Let me clarify. As Christians, we are not held to a standard of perfection, though we should be focused on it. Grace fills the distance between where we fail and where perfect, complete holiness is. Therefore, whether one Christian does more "good works" than another is irrelevant. God will not allow one Christian into heaven based on their "good works" and cast the other to hell. Once a person accepts Jesus Christ into their lives, they are completely secure for heaven.
The Bible makes it clear that what we do here on this earth is important to God (He doesn't want wood, hay, or stubble). As I mentioned in the Holiness blog, we need to be focused on living a life as close to what God has said in His Word as possible. We need to stay as far away from the stain of sin as possible (through the tender mercies of God).
Let's examine the lives of two Christians. One honestly tries as hard as possible to follow God's Word and keep as far away from sin (or the appearance of sin…more on that later!) because that is what their Savior says is their reasonable service. The other thinks achieving holiness is impossible and therefore, pursuing it is not worth the effort. The one that thinks pursuing holiness is a waste sees the other as a hypocrite. From their point of view, the one that pursues holiness is just trying to make themselves look good. "I mean, c'mon", they say, "Everyone can see they can't be completely holy. They're just doing that so others will think they're holy. At least I don't do that."
So what does this other Christian do that does not believe in pursuing holiness? They praise themselves on abstaining from the "hypocritical image of pursuing holiness". They claim that in doing nothing they are being honest and thus a little more spiritual than one who pursues holiness.
The real question is what is in the heart.
The Christian honestly pursuing holiness is not a hypocrite because they are following what the Bible has stated. All they are doing is following the words of the One who saved their soul. Inactivity does not make someone more spiritual because they are not trying---it's worse because their laziness leads them to resent the other Christian.
One Christian is presenting what they are, dedicated to following God's Word.
One Christian is presenting spirituality while living the opposite.
So often the lazy Christian finds they are slipping away from their God. They feel a need to tear down those that are pursuing holiness honestly in order to soothe their own laziness. If the example is struck down, they feel no one will see how far they themselves have fallen. All the while they will continue their pitiful motto, "I am no hypocrite; I don't even try."
They are the hypocrite!