Oh really, no one?
Come now you must be joking. No one has ever pointed out that you as a christian should love your neighbour as yourself while you scream obscenities at those who have offended you. Maybe it wasn't that bad, maybe you only thought these things. Of course if no one knows how much of hypocrite you are does that still make you a hypocrite?
Of course it does. In fact it puts you in a good company with some pretty famous people. Also a few infamous people as well. In fact it puts you in company with every person on the face of the earth. We are all hypocrites. Its just that sometimes we just haven't had it pointed out to us, yet.
Can someone look at you here at the place where you act the best and then take that as a measure of who you are everywhere else? Are you the same here as you are everywhere else?
Do you measure up? Honestly do you at you best measure up to the standards you believe in?
You don't do you?
Thats great cause I don't either. No human being ever has, apart from Jesus that is.
In Jesus time there were 2 kinds of hypocrite. The kind who realised they were and those who didn't.
Those who didn't were the Pharisees, the religious elite the ultra-orthodox super religious do everything by the boook dot the i's and cross the t's people. The scoffed at Jesus and treid their beest to bring Him down with their questions and tricks. These men professed to know God to understand Him and they did, in their heads as a list of laws. They did what they had to do and made sure others saw it. They also made sure none saw their faults and their sins.
In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus gives a story about those Pharisees.
Luke 18:9-14Which camp are you in? Honestly, which one are you in? You better think about it cause a lot depends on this. This realisation of personal hypocrasy is required. Humble yourself, you will be honored says Jesus. Did the Pharisee humble himself or did the tax collector.
9Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else:
10Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed, "God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. 12I go without eating for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn." 13The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, "God, have pity on me! I am such a sinner."
14Then Jesus said, "When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored."
Tax collectors, Prostitutes, Theives, Leppers, the Blind, the Lame these were those who gathered round Jesus for the grace He was brining. Yet here we are professing to live His way and do we always? I know I don't do it always and my reaction when I finally realise my hypocrasy is the same as these outcasts and deviants those "greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful". I need Jesus and the Grace He has poured out for me.
There is more to the life we live than just the time we spend at church with everyone looking on. Jesus called the Pharisees white washed tombs. Pure and white on the outside but inside full of dead and decaying bodies. Is that how we live professing to be spiritual and Godly but not living in His peace and love troubled in our thoughts and relationships. Are we unable to love others and show the Grace that He showed us. Do you love your neighbours as yourself?
I don't, in fact my cynical and black heart has come up with some astonsihingly evil words about others and its only recently that God has shown this to me. People who don't follow Jesus have said "Phill for a Christian you're incredibly cynical." I also got "At first I thought you were nice, but you have a real nasty streak."
How do we do this? The same way the tax collectors and prostitutes and disciples did. They listened to His teachings, watched and learned His voice and who He is. They got to know Him personally, they had a realtionship with Him. This is the same for us there is contact to Jesus thorugh His spirit, through prayer, through the word He has left for us. We are free to do this to envelop oursleves into His open Grace ready to be loved beacuse we realise that on our own we can never get there. He is the one who gives the Grace to live the life He lived. The lie is that we can't, that there is no way to change our spots. Through Christ all is possible and as we grow in Him by getting to know Him through His word and His spirit these things will be passed.
Do you know this Jesus who is there for us Hypocrites?
Or are you a white washed tomb?