This was posted on Facebook today, written by Rich Mullins. (Whom I don’t know.)
“I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite. Because nobody goes to church because they are perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church you’re confessing again to yourself and to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you there, that you don’t have it all together, and that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability. You need some help.”
I cringed when I read the first line because some of my own friends have been known to say this. We hear it on news feeds, social media, we hear it everywhere.
I am a Christian and very proud of it. Only Christ is perfect. I am just, Alice, a woman who tries very hard to “Love Everybody Always.” (Read Bob Goff’s book) I volunteer when I am able. I serve on several non profit boards to try to promote giving back to people in need. I study my Bible each day to remind myself of my imperfections…
I stumble, I growl at someone who cuts me off in traffic. I let a word of gossip slip from my lips. I say a swear word when I drop a full glass pitcher of water. I am indeed a sinner! I AM A HYPOCRITE, if I WINCE AT SOMEONE ELSE SAYING A SWEAR WORD OR IF I LISTEN TO GOSSIP OR IF I JUDGE SOMEONE.
The truth is… we are all hypocrites. Perhaps you know someone who says or teaches one thing but lives the opposite? How about the vegetarian who slips now and then and eats a burger? Or a dentist who tells his patients not to eat candy but opens a snickers bar on the way home in the car? We are all hypocritical occasionally. I repeat, no one is perfect!
Matthew 22 is dedicated to this subject. Jesus took hypocrisy very seriously. Unfortunately people naturally see Christians hypocritical behavior as being unacceptable. A Christian is called to grow in faith and progress to attempting to be Christ like. Many struggle…if we fall it is only hypocritical to deny our fall. Christians are taught to admit hypocrisy; to be honest and authentic about our imperfections. We are to put our faith in Jesus Himself, not faith in Christianity.
All these things are taught about in our Bible and because I strive to be a good Christian, I hope to recognize my sins. I feel sick to my stomach about my imperfections… so I come before my Savior, in church, on my patio, in my car, on my knees, I humble myself, pour out my mistakes and repent to work harder to follow the words my faith is based on. Through each encounter, I grow a wee bit closer to actually liking myself and to understand how much Jesus loves me unconditionally in spite of my imperfections; how He died for all my imperfections so I can have hope and know someday I will be in his arms, free of sickness, tears and pain. Yep, it’s hard to proclaim Christianity when the ugly world we live in, especially these past ten years, is full of people who are really not working or living any faith…sadly the entire world has hypocrites…but please don’t stereotype everyone who walks into a church and claims to follow the true words of Jesus, a hypocrite. In every aspect of All faiths, including those of no faith … proclaimed … or not…their is hypocrisy. If one lives long enough, sooner or later everyone can be accused of hypocrisy. Life is complicated. We all make mistakes. I strive not to judge and sometimes I fail!