I saw a post on Facebook the other day that hit me to the core. It was written by a man I know well and respect a lot. In fact this guy and his ex-wife welcomed me into their home at one of the most difficult times in my life, accepted me and helped me through what was going on. Thank you Lloyd and Melissa.
Then I saw his post on Christians and hypocrisy. It hit me right in the face, ticked me off to no end and stuck with me like a nagging fly that no matter how much I swatted, would not go away.
I was practicing self righteous anger. However because I knew this guy and knew his heart I had to give his words a fair chance. I had to accept that maybe I was part of the rampant Christian hypocrisy problem he was talking about and not a big enough part of the solution.
I found two definitions of hypocrite on the internet. One is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs that they do not actually possess.
The other says that a hypocrite is someone who feigns some desirable or publicly approved atttude when their private life, opinions or statements directly oppose their public statements or actions. You know, the Sunday morning Christian.
I like the definition I found on Got Questions.Org that says the word hypocrite is derived from the Greek term for actor and literally means “one who wears a mask” That kind of hits it directly on the head doesn’t it?
This behavior is mentioned in the Bible.
Matthew 15:8-9 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
I had to take an honest look at my life. Am I guilty of putting on a mask before I go out into the world? Are I so entrenched in being seen and gaining the applause of peers that I will do whatever it takes? Am I consistently inconsistent in my Christian walk? Is my identity based on society rather than Christ?
Do I say one thing then do another?
If we are honest these are questions that we could all ask ourselves.
As much as we tell ourselves it is not the case, there are Christian wolves in sheeps clothing.
While we might think that our hypocrisy is not transparent, we would be wrong.
Will God forgive our hypocrisy? Yes He will. Will those who are watching you here on earth forgive you? Not so much.
Let me explain that stark comment.
If you go to God with repentance in your heart, God will forgive you. Cmpletely and unconditionally. However, when you practice hypocracy you have planted a seed for your friends, neighbors and those who are seeking God. Is that the kind of seed that is growing the Kingdom of God?
This is a hard and heart wrenching subject. I don’t think very many of us wake up and say “I think I will put my mask and sheep suit on on and deceive my fellow man today”. But in many ways that is exactly what we do. Following Christ is not something we can be inconsistently consistent with. Will we make mistakes in our walk with Christ? Of course we will. Will we admit those mistakes, repent of those mistakes and learn from those mistakes? Well if we do that is a good sign we are shedding the mask and putting on the cloak of Christ.
Keep pressing into Christ.
My Weakness/His Power/My Victory