Have you ever been in church, or on-line reading blog posts, or just conversing with a good friend when something they said just is like a dagger to your heart with how much truth it speaks? Love those times . . . sometimes.
As a Christian, I am tired of being called a hypocrite. There’s been a story floating around Facebook (cannot verify its veracity) about a new minister that dressed as a homeless person and attended his own services in this disguise. The post laments how no one came up to speak to him or welcome him in any way and then the minister, in this outfit, goes up to the pulpit and gives a sermon on– well, you get my drift.
Then there is comment after comment about “This is exactly why I left the church!”– even one from my own relative.
Honestly, it makes me mad because I think two things.
Did said I’m-dressed-up-as-a-homeless-man-minister actually offer to shake anyone’s hand? Did he take an initiative, despite his dress, to get to know a few people? And those that use this example as the reason they left their own church– why aren’t you out there greeting people? Be the change you want to see.
I feel like I do try and live what is taught on Sunday. But then a sermon came up about being a hypocrite and I was in the beginning stages of rolling off a barrage of thoughts like the ones above until the minister said this:
“Hypocrisy lives between what you believe and what you do.”
Well, now . . . ouch.
It dawned on me that hypocrisy doesn’t just apply to aspects of the Christian life but to all aspects of our life. For years I said, “I want to be published.” but what was I really doing to accomplish it? That gap between my words and my action is hypocrisy.
These words hit home most for me in the area of weight loss. About three years ago, I saw a photo of myself and it was like a very bright spotlight on the lie I had led myself to believe. I knew I was a little fluffy– but not obese by any means.
Everything changed when I saw that photo. A dagger right into my heart. I couldn’t deny the truth anymore. Well, of course, I could but I knew I never wanted to see another photo like that . . . ever.
So I started on a wellness path . . . very slowly. It’s taken me about three years to lose forty pounds but I’m not quite there yet. Quite honestly, I should be at my goal weight. I have plenty of excuses why– or what we call “reasons” when we’re living in hypocrisy. Some of them sound very good and reasonable but they’re really not.
I’m trying to decrease my “reasons” and increase my actions. I don’t want to be viewed as a hypocrite. I want people to believe that I’m going to do what I say I’m going to do.
What about you? In what area of your life are you being hypocritical? Where is the gap between what you say you’re going to do and your actions? Is it spiritual (I’m going to pray more), or professional (I’m going to start my novel– maybe tomorrow!) or physical (I want to be a size six.)
How do you plan to change it?
And yes, all my ranting about the church above was being hypocritical, too. I have lots of self discovery in process.