I have an admission to make. I’m a hypocrite.
You know the old saying ‘Christians are hypocrites’? It’s absolutely true. (tweet that here)
This fact doesn’t make the truth of Christianity any less true or important. The way and values of Jesus are still true, no matter how badly His followers embody them.
But the fact is a lot, in fact, the majority of Christians are hypocrites. Including me.
Here’s some proof:
I say I believe in fair trade. But I know some of the products I own and purchase have been unfairly traded.
I say I believe in justice. Yet I participate in a system which is unjust.
I say I believe we should end world poverty. Yet I know some of what I spend my money on creates poverty.
I say I believe God should be first in our lives.Yet at times I put other things in front of Him.
I say I believe in forgiveness.Yet I find it hard to forgive people.
I say I believe we should love everyone unconditionally.Yet there are those I find I cannot love, or love with conditions.
I say I believe God should be in control of our lives. Yet I don’t let Him have full control.
I say I believe we should trust God. But I find it hard to trust Him myself.
I say I believe in God. Yet I often act like He doesn’t exist.
So, there can be no doubt. I am a hypocrite. So what now?
Owning our hypocrisy
What difference does it make what I believe
if my actions tell a different story?
I want to live the life I proclaim – but know the practical living of this is very difficult. My intentions are good, but I keep on screwing it up.
In my heart I genuinely believe all I claim to. Jesus is true. The values He teaches are the best way to live. It’s the way I want to live my life. But in practical reality living this out is challenging, difficult and uncomfortable.
However, is it just Christians that don’t live out what they believe? After all, it’s not just Christians who say they believe in justice, in fair trade, in ending poverty – but whose lives contradict those beliefs. That applies to many many more of us.
We are all hypocrites. We all disavow what we say we believe with our actions.
Maybe the question isn’t whether or not we’re hypocrites. But whether we’re willing to do anything about it. (tweet that here)
I don’t like being a hypocrite. I want to become less of a hypocrite. But I know following Jesus isn’t simple and I won’t always get it completely right. Maybe I never will.
There will always be times I am a hypocrite.
But I am a disciple of Jesus. I’m on a journey with Him. I know He sees all my contradictions and hypocrisies – and loves me anyway.
He shows me grace.
You see, following Jesus is a journey of discipleship within the context of grace. Once you recognise this, you can own your hypocrisy. It stops being a way of disproving our faith, and instead becomes a demonstration of the truth and grace of God.
You can simply live in grace, and try to embody the values of Jesus more than you did the day before.
The beginning of this journey though, is a recognition of who we truly are. Being honest with ourselves about our hypocrisy, our failures, and our need for God.
As this happens, we can begin to learn how much grace we have already been given, learn to receive this grace,
then share it with the world.
Do you agree with me? Why/why not?
Are you a hypocrite?
Do find it hard to receive grace and share it?
How can we become less hypocritical in our faith?
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