Well, here is a tough subject to address: Hypocrisy. What is it? The feigning of beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess. What in the world is feign??? Feign is to give false appearance of, or to pretend. Also, feigning is a sham - something false or empty pretending to be genuine. UGH!
Have you ever been accused of being a hypocrite? Someone who double-dips, has duplicity or practices deception in their actions? Someone who says one thing and does another? I have. Just this morning.
To be called a hypocrite by someone is quite humbling....and one I don't like to admit or hear coming from someone very close to me - especially my son.
Years ago, I heard someone say that the reason that they didn't go to church anymore was because it was filled with hypocrites! I agreed. There are many, many hypocrites in our world and in our society! But, I also said this: "The reason I do go to church is because I am a hypocrite!" I know that may sound crazy, but it is the truth. I had done and said things in my life that I wish with all my heart that I could say I have NOT done. The truth does hurt. But, truly, the real reason I do go to church IS because I know that I do and say things that I would like to stop doing and change going forward. Church offers me a place to lay down my "feigning" and get real. God offers me a new beginning every morning (and every minute) if I will admit that I have done wrong and want to change it. I can only change what I am aware of and what I am willing to accept that I need to change. So, how do I move forward from being a hypocrite?
Become willing - willing to admit that you sometimes do or say things that aren't really what you value. Live your values. Show the example of what you want others to learn. Do those things that are what you know to be true, honest, and right.
Philippians 4:8 says: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
That's quite a list! Can we do each of those things every minute of the day and every day of our lives? Probably not, but it is worth asking God to change us to be people of integrity. People who admit when they are wrong. People who ask for forgiveness and make amends where and when they can. And, when I ask God to change me, there is a difference that happens in my life. Forgiveness is offered to us by God, at church and at the cross. Forgiveness can be offered by admitting my error or wrong doing. Ask the person you have wronged to forgive you. Humble yourself enough to show that you want to change. Then, do it!
Forgiveness is offered to us by God when we tell Him that we have done wrong. When we admit we have really goofed! Forgiveness is something I need every hour of my life.
I John 1:8-9 says:
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Do I want my son to think of me as a hypocrite? Certainly not! But, it is a beginning of teaching him what it means to forgive another human being. It's the beginning of showing by example how I would like him to live. Not by my former actions, but by how God is changing me NOW. Admitting our mistakes goes a long way in teaching the value of integrity. Trying to hide my mistake or say it didn't happen the way it did would not teach the truth. Be genuine. Tell the truth. Admit your mistake. Ask for forgiveness. Move on and move forward.
How do you want your kids or those you love to think about you?