(Romans 2: 1) You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.

Hypocrisy is not a fun subject to contemplate and discuss.  It’s just uncomfortable, because no one wants to be called a hypocrite, and we should always hesitate before pointing the finger in the direction of others. The word itself gets thrown a round a lot, and the meaning is often misunderstood.  Growing up in the church, I heard it over and over, being used in reference to church people who struggled with sinful behaviors.  I would hear people say things like, “He’s in the bar on Saturday and on the front pew on Sunday!  Such a hypocrite!”  Well, that always made me angry.  Being an avid reader and a word/book nerd, I knew that wasn’t the correct definition of a hypocrite, and I couldn’t stand hearing it.  I didn’t like the misuse of the word, which I found annoying, but mostly I just didn’t (and still don’t) like the harsh, judgmental attitude behind the use of it.  So, I just want to take a minute to address hypocrisy…because I think it’s important to know what you’re saying…and, because maybe just you shouldn’t say it at all.

The word “hypocrite” is defined as: (via dictionary.com)

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

In short, a hypocrite is someone whose actions do not line up with his or her mouth.  This is a person who is talking a whole lot of talk, but walking very little walk…if any at all.  If I am constantly condemning others over sin and mistakes, yet I am continually making the same sinful choices…then I am a hypocrite.  Please don’t mistake this with a person who is struggling to repent.  I have seen so many people who have come to know Christ, yet walked away from the church because they have felt judged and condemned, labelled a hypocrite by friends and family, because they were having trouble walking away from sin.  Well, friends, it’s just not that easy for everyone.  Sin is habitual and addictive, and when you’ve spent a lifetime separated from God by sin, it’s not always so cut and dry.  No one is perfect, and we all sin, don’t we?  Romans 3:23 tells us, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” 

Let me propose a notion then, that we just stop using the word hypocrite altogether.  Why?  Because the examination of the human spirit can only be done by God’s Holy Spirit.  In Jeremiah 17:10, the Lord says:  “But I, the Lord, search all hearts, and examine secret motives.”  He sees it all, knows it all, and reveals it all in His own time and way.  Luke 8: 17 tells us that, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”  His timing.  So if you think someone is a fake, phony, hypocrite…fine…think it.  Then pray about it.  Lift that person up in prayer, because that is how to deal with it in love.  The Holy Spirit will take care of conviction…that’s not our job.  Our job is to love.  And no, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t hold one another accountable!  Of course we should!  In love, and with graceful words, we should privately have those kinds of conversations with one another…because that’s part of being a family.  However, don’t backbite and judge.  You just don’t know a person’s heart the way that God does.  You don’t know their struggles, their pain, their circumstances, and on that front pew is the best place that anyone (no matter what they’ve done) could be every week! 

When we enter into relationship with Christ, we begin a journey toward holiness and sanctification that is never quite completed.  We become more mature as the years pass…as we learn from mistakes and turn from old habits and ways…but we are never fully righteous until that day when we see the face of our Savior.  Until that day, we must keep on keepin’ on, and we can’t be tearing one another down with our words and preconceptions about each others’ lives!  Romans 8:1 reminds us of something that we sometimes forget:  “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”  There is always grace, friends.  Always.  And we must be just as willing to give it as we are to receive it!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for the truth of Your Word.  I love knowing that through it, I am able to receive gentle, loving correction.  So I ask You now, Lord, to forgive me of the times when I have been so quick to judge and to turn my nose in the air when I have seen people in the midst of struggle with sin.  Help me to remember the “log” in my own eye, before I point out the “speck” in someone else’s.  Help me to love others the way that You have loved me.  Amen.


I have been thinking a lot lately about where we are as a nation. Things are not looking good for America. It seems that everyday now there is an assault on Christian values. Values, in general, have changed. “Tolerance” is one-sided. We are “commanded” by the world to tolerate the sinful lifestyles, but they don’t tolerate those who choose to accept Scripture. We should not be surprised by this…Jesus told us that we would be hated just as He was hated.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for advancing revelation. I’m thankful that the church has moved off of some of the legalistic jargon that was so prevalent just a few short years ago. With that said, I’m concerned that we have abandoned true scriptural admonitions for the sake of convenience and popularity. For instance…it may be more popular to live together without the benefit of marriage, but does that fit with Scripture? It may sound cooler to use language that is suggestive, or crude…but how does that fit with not allowing blessing and cursing to come out of the same mouth?

To turn the tide, holiness must be reintroduced to America. However, I’m not sure that can be done by a group of Christians talking about it. While I’m certainly not opposed to Christians speaking out about their beliefs, I’m just not sure that anyone is listening. And, simply showering unbelievers with love is not going to address the issue of turning away from sinful lifestyles. Nor, am I interested in reintroducing legalistic “lists” that are impossible to maintain. I’m not much of a finger-pointer either. So, what is the church to do? Where do we even start?

It dawns on me that the most effective thing we can do is PRAY. I don’t mean just little “Lay me down to sleep” prayers. I’m talking about intense, directed prayer that specifically targets the sin of our nation. I’m talking about prayer that urges God to change the hearts of our nation…whatever the cost. I’m talking about asking God to change the hearts and logic of our government officials. What would happen if God allowed difficulty to come to the lives of our leaders with the express purpose of changing their hearts? God certainly has used that approach before…just check Biblical history.

I’m reminded of an old song that we used to sing…

It is no secret what God can do.
What He’s done for others,
He’ll do for you.
With arms wide open,
He’ll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do!

When I was a teenager, I remember my mother praying that God would put me under such conviction for my sinful actions that I would not be able to sleep at night. She prayed that I would become physically ill if I was drinking for the purpose of getting drunk. She didn’t play games with my sin. She understood that hardship would cause me to turn to God. She knew that my soul was hanging in the balance. I know that many would not agree with that particular approach to prayer. But, what other options do we have? The world will not listen to “Christian” reasoning, and even if they listened they could not understand because they are not in covenant with God and His Word.

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

As I think about all that prayer has accomplished throughout history, I am convinced that it is capable of turning the tide. There is no shortage of power. Let there be no shortage of PRAYER!

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