Today I wanted to talk about something that we, as Christians, are all familiar with. Have you ever heard the phrase, “All Christians are hypocrites”? It is a phrase often said by people who have had an intimate or close encounter with someone who claimed to be a follower of Christ. Then there is this generic response from Christians, “Yes, and we welcome hypocrites of all kinds,” or something to that retort. This, of course, sends a non-Christian into a “tizzy”. It is very understandable, considering, most of the time, the Christian nonchalantly brushes the statement off with some snarky comeback.
I’ve been called all kinds of names: Hypocrite,
censored, censored, censored hole, jerk, snake, wolf, censored, censored, son of a censored and of course, mother censored. Of all the names I’ve been called, the common denominator isn’t the specific name; it’s me. Some of these names were directed at me in my “B.C.” days, but most were post-regeneration; or alleged regeneration. I use the word alleged because my behavior usually exhumes the opposite, especially to those that mix religion with Christianity. The result: I am a hypocrite, essentially, because I am a human – in the flesh. That’s right, I am composed mostly of water, then some bones and skin and crap; but mainly sin, which is a cancer in my life. The real question now is: How does one change this? How do I change this?
I know I am not the only Christian that has this problem. In fact, when you don’t count the stuffed shirt/religious/”those without sin” people, you have the rest of us. Since I’ve been saved, I think the worst part of this entire journey is the growth being in slow motion. Unfortunately, for me, people compare my lesson learning journey into eternity to someone that has some “ultra-crazy-pulled from the mud and changed over night” testimony. I hate that. I really do. We all have different lives, logic and purposes and people still want to assimilate my life with everyone else’s. And worse, I feel like sometimes I should. But then I realize that thinking like that is just dumb because that wouldn’t separate me from the herd of co-dependent thinkers.
There are days and nights where I am just crying out to God, “Please, change me more. Why do I do this? Why do I say this? Why doesn’t it all go away?” I screw up. I screw up bad. I mean, bad. But when it comes to being fixed, I have something to prove. I have this mission to prove to everyone that God is real. He isn’t just some giant, opulent light, that sits on a gold throne being fanned by cherubim. He changed me, He changes me, He is changing me.
We are all hypocrites. We are all liars. We lie every day to ourselves, to God, to the world. No one is ever honest with what they are really thinking, feeling, who they are. Everyone pretends. What a sad realization right?
I want to close this by telling my brothers and sisters in the Lord, it’s okay to be transparent. It’s okay to act human and sin for a season because those times are the times we grow the most. It’s okay to be a hypocrite. We all need prayer and I believe the solution to stop this name calling is simple:
Respond intentionally with love. Don’t say, “Hurrrr der welcome to the club.” Rather say, “I am a hypocrite, will you please pray for me in the areas you despise the most in my life?” That is what we all need.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
-1 John 4:20 (ESV)