Read: Mark 7:1-8
Lip service can be defined as something expressed by someone in words, but not shown in their actions. The Pharisees were people who strictly followed God’s commands. They obeyed God’s commandments with their lips, but in their hearts, they failed to obey. The scribes and the Pharisees said that they honoured their parents (which is one commandment) but in reality they disregarded the needs of their parents, for example, taking care of them in their old age (Matt. 15:1-9). They prayed vain and repetitive prayers without real transformation of their hearts. Reciting repetitive prayers without truly knowing the meaning is of no use in God’s eyes.
Jesus said, “These people honour Me with their lips but their hearts are far away from Me” (Matt. 15:8). Their worship of God is based on merely human rules they have been taught (Isa. 29:13). James 4:17 says, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” If we honour God’s commandments with our mouth but do not practise in our life, we are guilty of sin. We must teach the truth and be consistent as ambassadors of Christ in our actions and not do mere lip service.