It is almost Halloween and I’ve decided to remove the mask and be real.
I am a hypocrite.
And…I’m a Christian.
I tell my kids not to do things I have done.
I give advice to others that I don’t take myself.
I know the best and right way to honor God with my words and my actions and I do the opposite.
I am selfish.
I am prideful.
I am human.
I am a sinner…a sinner who needs a savior.
I am in good company too because — unless your name is Jesus– you too are the worst of all sinners, just like me and Paul (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
We (you and me) justify our choices, actions, and behavior.
We normalize. “Everyone sins.”
We downsize.“It’s not that big of a deal.”
We minimize. “It doesn’t hurt anyone.”
We trivialize. “It’s just a little sin.”
We strategize. “If no one knows…”
We personalize. “It’s my life.”
We hypothesize. “If he didn’t do that then I wouldn’t have done this.”
We criticize. “He did that wrong.”
We generalize. “Everyone does it.”
We overemphasize. “It feels right.”
We glamorize.”I’m cool if I_________.”
We legitimatize. “It’s okay because so many people say it is.”
We polarize.”If you don’t agree you are against me.”
We forget grace.
We forget truth.
We focus on people pleasing and justification rather than God-glorification.
I need to ask myself, What is my measuring stick? My feelings? My perception? The culture? Other people’s behavior or beliefs?
Or is Jesus and His Father’s never changing and always living word my plumb-line?
The WWJD (What Would Jesus Do ) movement of the late 1990s was an attempt to encourage Christians to act like Christ would act.
To not be a hypocrite.
It’s a good start. To act like Jesus. Yet I need to dig further. I want to be more like Jesus and less like… me. I am a sinner who wants to honor and glorify God. I want to synthesize my faith and my life.
I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
The solution to the sinner struggle is confession, surrender, and repentance.
My Father’s will, not mine.
So….how do I know my Father’s will and how do I get to know the person of Jesus? I read his word, I pray, I join in a community of believers—who to be honest—are all hypocrites just like me and you. We are saved sinners struggling to be like Jesus who frees us and delivers us from our human nature.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25a