Monday, January 19, 2015

Christians are Hypocrites, and I’m a Christian.

By Allen White

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Matthew 23:1-4

None of us is actually as good as we claim to be. After all, what we believe are the things that we actually do. If I say that it’s important to exercise, yet I never exercise, I actually don’t believe what I said. If I say that it’s important to live by Christian values, yet I don’t forgive someone who offends me, then I don’t believe that either, do I?

Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that we should abandon all attempts to try new things or to improve. It’s one thing to grow toward something. It’s quite a different thing to say that you live by a standard that you never really intend to live by. This is where the Pharisees lived.

The Pharisees had great expectations for the behavior of others. They just didn’t feel obliged to comply themselves. Their lives were focused on where the rubber meets the air, not where the rubber meets the road. They were all bark, and no bite. They didn’t practice what they preached.

The people who listened to them were ready to challenge the Pharisees to put up or shut up, but Jesus cautioned them. The Pharisees were given authority that was handed down from Moses. They were terrible examples of righteousness. Personally, they were spiritual wrecks. Their lives didn’t command much respect, but their position did.

But, how could they submit themselves to the authority of two-faced, back-biting, lying, corrupt, deceitful, no good, sons of Abraham? By not allowing the Pharisees to hinder them, they submitted to God.

When you can’t control other’s bad behavior, you can control yourself. Your job is not to right every wrong. You are not a superhero. In the midst of rampant disobedience, you can choose to obey. That’s all God wants.

If you choose to fit in with the Christian club, you can actually forfeit fitting in with God. You can follow all of the rules and still lose the game.

Where do you see hypocrisy these days? What are you tempted to do about it? Let me encourage you to give that work over to God. Let your focus remain on obeying God yourself regardless of how you feel or what others are doing.

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