Hypocritical Me

I was about 10 years old when I told my father my best friend’s family had invited me to go with them to church. I was so excited! I had never been to church. I didn’t know what church was but I was curious and I told them I would ask my Dad if I could go.

When I asked him all he said was the church was full of hypocrites and he wouldn’t allow me to go. I asked what a hypocrite was? I won’t go into his uncomfortable and colorful detail but I walked away feeling discouraged and sad. My friend and her family seemed like such nice people, how could they be what my father said they were?

Since then I’ve met many people who say the same thing. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in a church, only hypocrites go to church.” “I’ve tried church, it isn’t for me, there are too many hypocrites.”

Were the various people who had a part in leading me to Jesus also hypocrites? Maybe some. Let me be the first to admit, I’ve been a hypocrite too. There are many things I wish I could undo or unsay. God knows each one.

I don’t always live up to what is expected of me by Christians or those who point fingers at those of us trying to get it right.

There are hypocrites on both sides of a church door; those who go in and those who stay out. I am one of them. But, I am trying each and every day to do and be better.

Looking back on those who taught me about Jesus I remember them admitting they were sinners, yet sinners saved by the grace of God. That, and telling me how much God loved me, and wanted to have a relationship with me, brought the peace I needed to move forward into walking through a church door. I’m so glad I did. Had I listened to my father and stayed away from church, where would I be now? I shutter to imagine.

Have I encountered hypocrites? Yes. There will always be those who think they are better than anyone else, Christian or not. But I have also encountered some of the most amazing people I have ever met. I refuse to let those who insist on pointing fingers, or figuratively throwing the bible at others, keep me from the overwhelming joy of the incredible fellowship with my brothers and sisters who are trying, along with me, to get it right. And, for those who keep me accountable, I am forever in your debt. Without you, I would be a different me. Thank you for loving me enough to tell me the truth when I need to hear it.

My father blamed others for keeping him and his family from learning about and loving our amazing Creator. Or was that just an excuse? Do people use the hypocrite line as a scapegoat? I think many do. It’s easy to throw others under the bus for our bad choices. Truth be told, my father just didn’t want to be accountable to anyone, especially God.

There are those who have been wounded by church people, as have I. I do not discount their pain. Let us not, however, lump all Christians into the same category. For every one person calling themselves a Christian then acting otherwise, there are two or more doing their utmost to remain humble and share the love of Jesus. That doesn’t make them perfect, just filled with love and grace.

If you are a sinner proudly telling people you are now saved by grace, awesome! If, however, you have forgotten the saved by grace part and now see others as sinners, but not yourself, I ask you to reconsider how you share the gospel. In other words, is Jesus proud of your witness? If not, ask Him to help. When we come before Him in humility, confessing our transgressions, He, without a doubt, will lead us on a better path.

If you are someone who has decided God is not worth pursuing because of some who shed a negative light on Him, I ask you to reconsider too. A relationship with God is personal. It doesn’t have anything to do with another human being. Had I let other, less than godly or Pharisee type, people (hypocrites) keep me from the most amazing relationship of my life, I know not where I’d be today. Once again, I shudder to imagine.

Wherever you fall in this, I pray each and every day is a new experience that leads you closer to the One who loves us more than we can ever imagine.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in

Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32

If you have any thoughts on this subject, I’d love to hear them.

In His embrace,

Toni

Thank you for sharing, liking and as always for your thoughts.

8 comments to Hypocritical Me

  • Sheila Schweiger-Rhodes  says:

    Toni~ This goes along with what we are doing in our small group. We are doing a study called “Gospel in Life” by Tim Keller. The study is about how we live our lives in accordance to the gospel in our homes, city, etc. We talked about hypocrites last night and looked up the word which means from http://www.vocabulary.com
    The word hypocrite is rooted in the Greek word hypokrites, which means “stage actor, pretender, dissembler.” So think of a hypocrite as a person who pretends to be a certain way, but really acts and believes the total opposite. Hypocrites usually talk a big talk but fail to follow their own rules — like an outspoken vegetarian who secretly eats bacon.

    By the way, I love bacon, and I am not a vegetarian 🙂 Great insight as always and I’m blessed by your testimony in many ways! We need to catch up!

    • Toni  says:

      Wow! It’s so cool that you are studying this! I am so thankful to be in fellowship with you! I love bacon too! LOL You crack me up!

      Yes, please, let’s catch up soon!

      Love you Sheila!

  • Marjorie  says:

    Toni:
    Some of the people I know claiming to be Christian are the worse hypocrites I have ever met.
    Be yourself. Be true. Be who you are. Truth always wins…Christian or not!
    For those who use excuses, it is exactly that: an excuse because they are too lazy to worship.

    • Toni  says:

      I couldn’t agree more Marjorie! If we are true to ourselves and to Jesus we will never go wrong!

      I’m so thankful for you!

      God bless you Marjorie!

  • Nancy Yoshida  says:

    Toni,
    As usual I love your articles. Brings me back to the day I made that phone call to join your Bible Study group. Thank you for teaching me about The Word and how it is possible to have a relationship with God. As far as hypocrites in the church I may have met a few but the majority of Christians I fellowship with really try hard not to fall into this category. I think those who criticize don”t really take the time to know other Christians. Many of the critics and i’m not saying all don”t step a foot inside a church to find out for themselves. Love you Toni.Many blessings to you.
    Nan

    • Toni  says:

      You are so right Nancy! Many do not give us, the church, or Jesus a chance. So sad.
      I am so very, very thankful you made that phone call! Your friendship has blessed my life ever since.

      Never forget how much I love you Nancy!

  • Susie  says:

    I’ve heard that reflex response often, as well. Even though I don’t attend a physical church (and don’t plan to), I think many people like the handy “hypocrite” excuse to avoid looking within themselves and upward toward God for His leading. It’s very easy to point out personal flaws because we are all human and make mistakes. The hard part is trying to live an authentic life that makes our heavenly Father happy 🙂 Thanks for the article and for reading my posts, as well!

    • Toni  says:

      Thank you Susie! I agree, living an authentic life is the hard part. Not because we don’t want to make our heavenly Father proud but because there is so much negativity and distraction all around us. That’s why I love fellowship with other Christ followers. We can all keep one another accountable if we begin to fall away from who we are created to be. I’m so glad to be in fellowship with you!

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