July 29, 2013

If you are reading this YOU’RE A FRIGGIN HYPOCRITE!!!!! Well, I hope I have your attention. You know the old “I don’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites”? Well of course it is! It’s got people, doesn’t it? And ALL people whether they like it or not are hypocrites by definition. It comes with the territory of being a fallen creature.

Maybe it would help to know where the word comes from. Hypocrite comes from the Greek word “hypokritēs” or “ὑποκριτής,” for you scholars. It refers to someone who dons a “mask” in order to look like something they are not. The original word referred to actors in a Greek play. Of course as the word has evolved over the years, it has taken on a negative connotation and often is used to refer to someone who is deliberately being dishonest in how they portray themselves. For example it speaks of those in the church who are seen as “holier than thou,” or “goody two shoes,” but in fact are wracked by sin and guilt. Well I can’t say for sure that we in the church are overwhelmed with guilt, but we are for sure full of sin. After all, Paul says, “There is not one of us who does not sin.” Actually I think there are fewer intentional hypocrites in the church than there are people outside of the church who are either looking for an excuse to run from God, or they simply don’t know church people.

Well, back to where I started. We are all hypocrites. Honestly I don’t know one person who does not at times put on a different persona in order to be perceived by others in a way contrary to who they really are. Sometimes that is understood and accepted by everyone. In a job interview for example, we are trying to put our “best foot forward.” We are not really acting in a way that is representative of who we REALLY are. And don’t write me a note and tell me you do. Maybe you do, but I doubt it.

Or playing the “dating game,” and I’m not talking about the one on television. No wonder so many couples get in trouble after they get married. For the first time in their relationship they begin to act like themselves… and their spouse might not like what they see. Why is it that men stop courting their wives after the wedding? What happens to all the flowers, cards, sweet nothings??? They aren’t necessary anymore! The game is over. I know that may sound cynical. I usually tell a story recounting this sort of thing when I do weddings. It is the one thing that women often comment to me about. “Yeah, what happened to the guy I was dating and engaged to?!” Sometimes it’s said with humor to disguise real hurt. And other times it’s obviously painful.

Yep, you’re a hypocrite alright… just like me. But guess what? We are not hypocrites before God. We might try, but it’s not really possible. God knows you to the very core of your being. God knows all that you have been, all that you are, and all that you will be. There are no secrets, nor are there any masks that can evade the Lord of the Universe. God knows you. He knows your most secret thoughts. He knows your most humiliating and shameful actions. All the things you want to hide from the world, God already knows. And guess what? He loves you anyway! In spite of your hypocrisy and regardless of your sin you are still the beloved of God. There isn’t much you can do about that so learn to live with it. Or maybe… learn to rejoice in it.


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