People often talk about “those Christians”, “those hypocrites”, like we’re all one and the same. Really? Am I really a hypocrite? Are you?
We strive to follow Jesus, His teachings, and His examples. Through faith in Him, Christians seek to do as Jesus would. But, Jesus was the only perfect person, and we will never attain perfection. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can resist sin more easily and get closer to the goal of perfection. Even though we are forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus, we still sin. We still mess up.
We are all born with the sin nature in our DNA, believer or non-believer. The fact that Christians are forgiven doesn’t totally change that evil influence on our lives. I must say, it’s easier to resist temptation when we’re walking closely with the Lord.
We determine to follow God’s Word, but sometimes our hearts wander away, and we mess up. Sometimes, we even royally mess things up. Does that mean we’re hypocrites? Even Paul struggled. It’s no excuse, mind you, but Paul’s words reveal our constant inner struggle.
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (Roman 7:21-23 NLT)
When we are in that mess, that’s where we look like hypocrites to the world. We’re falling beneath the (I believe unattainable) standard of the “perfect Christian”.
This song about grace is a wonderful picture of how Jesus forgives our imperfections as we travel through life attempting to live out our faith.
Christians who spend time with God and in His Word regularly fall under conviction of sin too severely to want to sin, much less live a life of sin.
So, yes, if we profess to be a Christian and continue to live a life of sin, that makes us a hypocrite. If we claim to be a Christian yet fall short of the repentance Christ calls us to, we’re not living according to God’s Word.
I started writing this post two weeks ago with a burden to clear this up for those in my life who’ve made statements about hypocrisy and “religion”.
In my first attempt at writing this post, I got completely bogged down in definitions, explanations, and opinions. After shortening things for a more brief and concise post, I left out a tremendous amount. For a thorough explanation, read this article, where the author explains this topic at length, clearly and accurately.
Blessings to you on this spectacular Sunday~