The Cure for Hypocrisy

Woman with angel wings praying

Avoiding hypocrisy isn’t just about actions. It’s about being honest.

If you’ve invited people to church who don’t already go to church, you may have encountered this sentiment: “I don’t go to church. It’s full of hypocrites.”

Hypocrisy is one of the main reasons people walk away from church—or refuse to come in the first place.

So, what’s behind this perception that many Christians are hypocrites?

Here’s the hard truth: Often, we are perceived as hypocrites because, in some ways, we are hypocrites.

Maybe it’s because of what we say. We say lying is wrong, but we still lie sometimes. We say gossip is bad, but we still talk behind other people’s backs. We say God loves everybody, but we don’t always show love. We ask for forgiveness, but often fail to offer it. We preach grace, but often practice judgment. After all, churches are made up of people. And people are flawed.

But, the reality is, we’re not hypocrites because of what we say or because of what we do—we’re hypocrites when we hide our faults and try to act like we’ve got it all figured out.

It’s easy to fall into this trap. Sometimes we start to think that God’s love is based on our performance. How often do we get in the car on Sunday morning and everyone’s fighting and yelling. From our house to the church it’s chaos, but when we walk through the doors, we are suddenly transformed from Mad Max in the Thunderdome to the Brady Bunch.

We say we are good, when the truth is, we feel like we are drowning.

That is what makes us hypocrites. A hypocrite was a Greek stage actor who performed behind a mask. Hypocrisy occurs when the outside doesn’t match the inside. Sometimes, rather than letting Jesus transform us, we try to force ourselves into the mold of those around us. We act the way we think we are supposed to act. We talk the way we are supposed to talk. We become actors. We pretend to have it all together. Our life becomes a performance. Our church becomes our stage.

Hypocrisy is a mask we wear to hide our true self.

Here are three ingredients that can remove the mask:

Be Honest With Yourself

None of us are perfect, not even close. That’s OK. Church isn’t for perfect people to compare themselves to other perfect people. Church is a place for hurting people. Church is a place for broken people. Church is a place for struggling people. If we are honest about what we are—a work in progress—then how can anyone call us a hypocrite?

Be Real

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/cure-hypocrisy#OpeXlzhqGUEbphqS.99

SOURCE: Relevant Magazine – Tyler Edwards

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