Hypocrisy

A note from Amy.

Are most Christians really just hypocrites?

There’s something about announcing our Christian beliefs that immediately opens us up to accusations of hypocrisy. The word seems to get thrown around a lot as an easy way to call someone out for disagreement, unkindness, or just in general not doing what other people want us to do.

I certainly understand how this has happened. Let’s be honest; Christian actions throughout history (and even in the news today) stink of hatred, apathy, meaningless violence, and other qualities which everyone can agree are the opposite of good Christianity. Understandably, this has made the world skeptical, even scornful, of the true depth of our Christian faith.

I am aware that when people know I’m a Christian, my actions are immediately under a very harsh microscope. Any unkind word, any clash of opinion, any failure to pay attention to details that others deem important, brands me instantly as a hypocrite. Obviously, Jesus would be doing much better than that. If I’m not exactly like Jesus, then of course I am a hypocrite, as are most other Christians. 

There is some merit to this argument. After all, Jesus himself warned that it is better to have a millstone around your neck and be drowned in the sea than to cause another person to stumble (Luke 17). As “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth,” (Matthew 5) we are called to set ourselves apart from the sins of everyday life so that others can see Jesus through us.

Hypocrisy is defined as “behavior which contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.”

What do we believe and feel?

I believe that I am deeply flawed. I feel that I am sinful. I believe that Jesus is the only one able to love me enough to die for me, and that He has a plan to help me overcome my flaws.

Instead of giving up or pretending to be perfect, how about honesty and transparency? How about letting others know how much we struggle…and how much God is present in that struggle alongside us?

Isn’t that truly what being the “light of the world” is all about? After all, light illuminates the truth rather than hiding it.

The world may always see us as hypocrites. That’s because we have not been honest or transparent about God’s love and what it really means to us.

Let’s leave hypocrisy behind and work to become the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” that God created us to be.

2 thoughts on “Hypocrisy

  1. Becoming a “public” Christian – a pastor or other teacher/leader – makes hypocrisy a real danger. We can pretend to be better than we know ourselves to be. I found it revealing to learn that behind the word “hypocrite” in Greek lies the image of an actor, who in the old tragedies at times wore a mask. Being transparent is the answer, taking off the mask, and revealing the grace of God at work in us.

    Liked by 1 person

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