hypocrite – (adjective)
a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
Even though I was having a hard time concentrating at church on Sunday (thanks mostly to sitting in the very back row of the balcony where everything just feels…different), I did manage to catch most of the sermon…and part of me, the self-justifying and proud part…wishes I didn’t. See, we’re wrapping up a series called MythBusters…the myth to test this week? Christians are hypocrites. Ouch. No one wants to hear that, because it is such an ugly word. But, here I sit, a convicted hypocrite. Is it hard to admit that? Yes. But, I look at my life and know that sometimes it’s just true.
I went into the sanctuary Sunday in a bad mood. Why? Because I was being bratty and selfish. A decision had been made that affected me directly, but I found out about it at the end of the previous service, not beforehand, which would have been nice. My response – instant frustration and anger. But then I walked into the Sanctuary and pretended to be the loving, forgiving, patient Christian I know I should be. I knew it wasn’t a personal attack and that it was probably even the RIGHT decision, but my heart was in direct opposition to my ‘stated beliefs.’
The music started and I was having a hard time getting into the worship – unfamiliar verses of only somewhat familiar Christmas songs caused my mind to wander on more than one occasion. Soon it was time for the sermon. With my job, I happen to know what all the sermons are going to be about before they are preached. But, even though I knew it would be about hypocrites…I immediately wanted to say, “that doesn’t apply to me! How could I be a hypocrite?” But, the fact of the matter is, I was convicted, felt a little guilty, and wanted to make amends for some of my more hypocritical moments. It is never fun to be compared to the Pharisees, but the fact remains that what I proclaim and what I live don’t always seem to fall into line.
I believe in patience, but find myself impatient.
I believe in forgiveness but seem more than willing to hold a grudge more times than not.
I believe God is available to everyone, but then question how some people can call themselves Christians.
I believe in loving people, but find myself not liking certain people a lot.
I believe in self-sacrifice, but often want things to go my own way.
I believe in transparency, but hide who I am.
I believe in sharing the gospel, but can’t even talk to my own mom about God.
I believe in living what you believe, but sometimes I find myself doing just the opposite.
I know I can be better than who I have been. I know I can change and live more of who I am to the world every day. I know I can be braver and stronger in my convictions. I know I can be more than who I am today.
The first step in overcoming hypocrisy is admitting it exists, right?